British territories' environment 'at risk'

2017-05-02 16:07:25
By admin


Wildlife and the environment in far-flung British territories are under threat, says a report.

Environment ministers from Britain's overseas territories say the government has cut funds and been distracted by Brexit.

They say there is huge confusion among government departments about responsibility for the territories.

The government calls the criticism unfair and points to its creation of large marine protection areas.

The UK holds jurisdiction over 19 British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies - parts of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories.

Their lands hold an extraordinary wealth of rare species: 94% of the UK's endemic species - found nowhere else in the world - are in outposts of the former empire.

Among the endangered creatures are a giant frog called the Montserrat mountain chicken; the Spiky yellow woodlouse, existing only land the size of a tennis court on St Helena; and the Grand Cayman blue iguana.