The official website for the States of Alderney

Press Release - Wildlife Law 04.11.2020

Public consultation - Proposed wildlife legislation

The States of Alderney signed the Blue Islands Charter in 2019 committing the government to protecting and enhancing both our terrestrial and in particular marine environments. In order to achieve this the Policy and Finance Committee developed an environment policy which was ratified by the full States earlier this year. Unfortunately civil service resource were not available to undertake the work of producing drafting instructions for the proposed legislation. However, the Covid Lockdown situation from March - June this year provided an opportunity for private sector lawyers from the UK to develop the drafting instruction guidance at no cost to the States, as part of their corporate social/environmental responsibilities. The proposed wildlife legislation guidance notes (drafting instructions) were considered and supported by Policy and Finance Committee at their July 2020 meeting, when they agreed that a public consultation exercise should be carried out before the drafting instructions were finalised and sent to St James Chambers for developing into a Project de Loi. Copies of the minutes of these meetings are available off the States website.

Annie Burgess, States member with responsibility for environmental matters assured the public that:

"the existing Bird Protection Alderney Ordinance 2005 is the only wildlife protection law Alderney currently has and much of its content has been incorporated within the drafting guidance. However, it only covers birds. The other mammals, plants and insects that we have on Alderney also deserve our protection. Combining all the wildlife protection under one law just makes sense. Alderney is perhaps one of the last place in Europe that has no protection for our flora and fauna (except birds). Yet so much of how we promote our island for both tourism and to attract new residents relies on Alderney's unique array of wildlife."

A number of organisations and individuals have provided valuable feedback on the proposed wildlife legislation guidance notes. However there is still an opportunity for the public to get involved and have their say.

The proposed wildlife legislation provides much needed protection for Alderney's wildlife.

  •  It places a duty on all public bodies and office holders to further the conservation of biodiversity
  •  It provides protection of specific habitats and the designation of States-owned land as Areas of Enhanced Protection, for example, Longis Nature Reserve
  •  And it provides protection for bird, animal and plant species

The initial draft guidance notes are based on similar legislation from other island jurisdictions but following input from the public, it will be refined to be used as drafting instructions for St James Chambers before final agreement by the States of Alderney. A copy of the Project de Loi/Legislation, will be publically available prior to States of Alderney debate in the normal way.

In response to Mr Allen's article in the October 30th 2020 edition of the Journal, there is absolutely no intention to use this legislation as a "land grab" and following feedback from interested parties, the wording of the first draft of the guidance notes (drafting instructions) will be tightened to ensure this is clear in the proposed legislation before it is prepared into a draft Project de Loi.

The proposed "Scientific Advisory Group" is a voluntary group of scientists/conservation experts from off island who would advise the States of Alderney (General Services Committee) on issues relating to the Legislation. This may include proposals for "Areas of Enhanced Protection" which are owned by the States but would be subject to political debate and support before progressing. The intention is that this would for example be Longis Common. The Scientific Advisory Group may also advise the States on such issues as amending any list of species of animals or plants that are protected or exempt from protection. It would therefore be the States of Alderney's General Services Committee who is ultimately responsible for the legislation and any subsequent actions arising from it.

A copy of the proposed wildlife legislation guidance notes are available on the States of Alderney website http://alderney.gov.gg/article/4294/Natural-Environment

Any individuals who wish to express their views on wildlife protection in the island should contact ceo@alderney.gov.gg