On 23 January 2012, IUCN provided expert advice on environment, climate change and EU-OCT cooperation to the leaders of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). The leaders gathered for their annual OCT Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference in preparation for the 10th OCT-EU Forum, which will conclude today in Brussels.
The OCTA Ministerial Conference focused on the EU's revision of the 2011 Overseas Association Decision. During the programme, OCT leaders heard presentations from experts, including IUCN, on OCT relations, environment and trade. OCT leaders also shared their own perspectives on future relations with the EU.
The meeting concluded with the leaders agreeing to common positions for talks with the European Commission (EC) and the signing of a Political Declaration. The declaration call on the EU to, among other things, facilitate the participation of OCTs with meetings/seminars amongst OCTs, with the EC and with other relevant partners by informing them about the EU policies and strategies on biodiversity, environment, sustainable marine management, climate change, access to appropriate resources, and assistance in generating knowledge about the OCTs’ unique biodiversity, the threats faced due to climate change as well as adaptation to these changes whilst being mindful of the long term objectives of the cooperation with the EC on environment and climate change.
Read the full press release by OCT leaders on the outcomes of the conference and the key points of the Political Declaration here.
For more information on IUCN's contribution to the conference, please contact Dominique Benzaken, IUCN EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories Programme Coordinator.