Information on the UK’s Blue Belt programme, led by the UK Overseas Territories in collaboration with the UK Government bodies the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
The UK government’s Blue Belt Programme is on course to provide long term protection of over 4 million square kilometres of marine environment across the UK Overseas Territories by 2020. The programme delivery bodies, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), support the UK Overseas Territories to develop and implement comprehensive marine protection and management strategies, while facilitating access to technical expertise in marine management and compliance, and practical technology solutions to support scientific research and monitoring, and enforcement. The programme was supported by nearly £20 million CSSF funding from 2016 to 2020; and has been extended to 2021 with additional funding of £7 million.
The programme has initially focused on supporting Overseas Territories which have designated, or committed to designating, large scale marine protection and management areas, and ensuring these areas are effectively managed, monitored and enforced. Marine Protected Areas have been designated around the British Indian Ocean Territory, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, Pitcairn, St Helena, Ascension and within the British Antarctic Territory. Tristan da Cunha will be announcing protective measures shortly.
The programme has also supported other UK Overseas Territories through the UK Overseas Territories Darwin Plus funding scheme, for small scale bespoke marine projects.
For more information on the Blue Belt programme please contact Programme Directors, Ed McManus or Joanna Stockill