Honourable Ministers of Government, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, United Nations Under-Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator Ms. Rebecca Grynspan, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Mr. Maurice Ponga, European Union (EU) Commissioner for Environment Mr. Janez Potočnik, Representatives of the Government of India, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) delegates, other guests and friends, a pleasant good evening.
On behalf of the Government and people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), I would like to first thank the Co-Chairmen of the Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA) for the generous invitation to participate in tonight’s event. GLISPA has truly proven to be an effective platform for Island Parties and Parties with Islands to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
The occasion of the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) and the in-depth review of the Progamme of Work on Island Biodiversity (POWIB) mark an important milestone for Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), as it is the first time we have been directly involved in the process of reporting progress and planning critical next steps in CBD implementation. Thus it gives me great pleasure as an Overseas Territory Environment Minister to deliver this intervention.