All OCTs are characterised by a biodiversity that is much richer than in continental Europe as a whole. These insular and isolated countries and territories constitute privileged locations for the development of endemic species, whether animal or vegetable and terrestrial or maritime. The OCTs are thus of major importance for world biodiversity. Sustainable use and protection of this biodiversity would benefit from better scientific documentation and access to research results. The OCTs’ potential as regards biodiversity is already recognised at international level, through the development of scientific projects to gain a better understanding of ecosystems, the way they interact and their importance for the worldwide environmental balance.
Most of the work of OCTA in the field of Environment and Climate Change is channelled through the Partnership Working Party on Environment which is a platform that provides for a broad-based dialogue between the Commission and the OCTs and the related Member States on specific issues related to environment and climate change. Greenland is currently co-chair of the Environment PWP and ensures that the work in the PWP 3 is in coherence with the objectives in the OCTA strategic Plan 2010 and the Joint Position Paper signed in Noumea 2011.
The PWP 3 on Environment and climate change is an important platform to exchange views of mutual interest and a way to share information between the Commission, Member States and the OCTs.
In 2012 one PWP meeting was conducted on the 14th May in Bruxelles which included discussions and exchanges of information on “Green Growth”, biodiversity incl. BEST-SCHEME and NET-BIOME, Rio+20, the OCTA seminar in the European Parliament “From the Arctic to the Tropics” and finally the Aruba Green Energy Conference.
Besides the work in the PWP’s OCTA representatives participate in meetings in Bruxelles, e.g. IUCN-roundtable discussions, meetings with several DG’s in the Commission, such as Environment, Climate action and Research.
French Polynesia & Greenland co-chair the OCTA working group on this topic.