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Press Release - Environment 30 10 19

For immediate release: 30 October 2019

Alderney to lead the way with conservation policy

Alderney may be a small island but it is flexing its muscles in the crucial issue of environmental conservation.

Already centre-stage with the signing of the Blue Islands Charter on the island at the end of September, the Policy & Finance Committee now wants Alderney to develop its own conservation legislation.

Strategic Advisor Paul Veron told P&F that Guernsey's conservation legislation, which was to have encompassed all islands in the Bailiwick, has been held back while Guernsey's Island Development Plan is reviewed.

With ecology, wildlife and the marine environment a top priority, Alderney's civil service is now drawing up its own draft legislation in consultation with all of the appropriate bodies on the island.

The legislation will include Marine Management which will be thrashed out with all stakeholders who have an economic or environmental interest in Alderney's territorial waters, including environmentalists, fishermen, marine wildlife groups and harbour management.

The resulting policy will support and enhance the island's comprehensive Land Use Plan and will tie in with existing local legislation.

"Alderney is in a better position than Guernsey to move forward with this as it has only recently updated its Land Use Plan," said Mr Veron.

"Another advantage of this is that we can expect the resultant policy and legislation to be more scaled for Alderney's size and local circumstances, and likely to be a much simpler and quicker way forward."

"With the signing of the Blue Islands Charter, it is now essential for the States of Alderney to demonstrate its continuing commitment to the environment by developing policies and appropriate legislation."

Officers have already begun working with conservation stakeholders to develop a framework to provide protection of species and habitats, and States of Guernsey Policy Officer Mike Northmore has also provided "invaluable assistance".

Meanwhile Alderney Chamber of Commerce and Alderney Wildlife Trust have identified the right people to work with the island's staff on ways to remove as much plastic from the supply chain as possible with the objective of becoming "a plastic-free island" without the need for legislative changes.

And Bailiwick negotiations continue with the UK and France over fisheries management policy after Brexit, while the Alderney Marine Forum continues to foster communication on matters of mutual interest.

Islands and territories that signed up to the Blue Islands Charter are also exploring the possibility of a joint biodiversity fund to support inter-island work. This fund would be open to contributions from other parties, including governmental, corporate and private sources.