The Blue Belt Programme aims to create marine conservations zones around the UK's Overeas Territories, including the Tristan da Cunha group of islands.

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News of Tristan's planning and implementation of the Blue Belt Programme. This is a UK strategy to protect the marine environment of its Overseas Territories, including the Tristan da Cunha group of islands, by establishing marine conservation zones. The UK Government has provided funding up to 2020 to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) to provide the expertise and advice the OTs might need to formulate and deliver the strategy.

Tristan represented at UN Ocean Conference

Report and photos

from
Tristan Government

Environmental and Conservation

Policy Officer

Stephanie Martin

UN Ocean Conference, Lisbon, Portugal 27 June-1 July 2022

The second United Nations high-level Ocean conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal, during the last week of June. Trevor Glass, Head of the Conservation Department and I were honoured to be part of the UK delegation. (Unfortunately, Trevor became ill and was unable to attend) The Blue Belt program sponsored me as part of my role as the UKOT rep to the Blue Belt Steering Group. Many sessions were relevant to Tristan da Cunha's Marine Protection Zone and other UKOTs marine programs. One of the week's highlights was one session about Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing co-chaired by Lord Goldsmith.   Lord Goldsmith talked about the Blue Belt program and, at the end of the session, specially named the Tristan Community as an example of the incredible work happening in the UKOTs as champions of the environment!

Stephanie Martin (Centre) is joined by
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Minister Rebecca Pow (right)
and Holly Mennel, also from DEFRA (left)
  for this photograph where they are framed by one of the conference's posters.

In the evening I attended receptions with leaders from South Pacific Islands and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to discuss common ocean challenges, including climate change impacts.

I was honored to have lunch with Minister Rebecca Pow (then the appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the UK Ambassador to Portugal, Chris Sainty. They both asked many questions about Tristan da Cunha and the community. It was a wonderful and a bit intense week, but I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to share all the important environmental work happening in Tristan! #smallislandBIGIMPACT

Stephanie with the UK Ambassador to Portugal, Chris Sainty.

James Glass gives key presentation at oceans event in London

Report from Tristan's UK Representative Chris Carnegy, with additional photos from Fiona Kilpatrick

World Ocean Day 2022 on the 8th June brought a London celebration of the 'Blue Belt' initiative that has protected 4.3 million km2 of the waters around UK overseas territories. Tristan da Cunha's Marine Protection Zone has contributed a vast 690,000 km2 to that achievement.

Jane Rumble, Head of the Polar Regions Department, FCDO, and Chair of the Blue Belt Board, opens the event next to the panelists.

Jane Rumble, Head of the Polar Regions Dept., FCDO, and Chair of the Blue Belt Board, opens the event.

Chief Islander James Glass, in his dual role as Director of Fisheries, gave one of the main presentations to a VIP audience at the Royal Society's headquarters. He explored the potential impact of climate change on Tristan da Cunha - its wildlife, its economy and its people. He stressed the opportunity to make Tristan a base for maritime science, and the need for a vessel to add consistency to research and resilience to the island.

James Glass presenting 1 James presenting 4
Above and below left: James Glass presenting
James Glass presenting 2 Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister for the Pacific and the Environment
Above right: Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister for the Pacific and the Environment

UK environment minister Lord Zac Goldsmith met James before the event, and in his own speech he underlined his well-known support for what Tristan da Cunha has achieved, commenting "to those who think this [tackling damage to the environment] is too ambitious, I say: look at Tristan".

James Glass with Lord Zac Goldsmith Trevor Glass with Jonathan Hall, RSPB Head of Overseas Territories
James Glass with Lord Zac Goldsmith Trevor Glass with Jonathan Hall, RSPB Head of Overseas Territories

Tristan da Cunha's Head of Conservation Trevor Glass also attended the event as part of his own trip to the UK: he and James met with key partners including representatives of the RSPB and British Antarctic Survey.

James Glass with Adam Pile, Deputy Director of Overseas Territories at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office James Glass with British Antarctic Survey Chief Executive Dame Jane Francis
James Glass with Adam Pile, Deputy Director of Overseas Territories at the FCDO. James Glass with British Antarctic Survey Chief Executive, Dame Jane Francis.

Steph Martin, Tristan's Environmental and Conservation Policy Officer, chairs a session

Stephanie Martin, Tristan's Environmental and Conservation Policy Officer, chaired one of the sessions.

Josephine Connolly, Minister from the Turks and Caicos Islands

Josephine Connolly, Minister with responsibility for the environment from the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The islands becoming the latest OT to join the 'Blue Belt' (and the first in the Caribbean) was announced at the event.

Stamp issue: The Blue Belt Programme

Stamps commemorating the establishment of Tristan's Marine Protected Zone, the largest in the Atlantic, as part of the UK's Blue Belt Programme.
18-Nov-2021
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Community Braai to Celebrate the Tristan MPZ

The Chief Islander with the help of the RSPB held a celebratory braai for the community to mark the establishment of Tristan's Marine Protected Zone (MPZ).
16-Oct-2021
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Tristan's Marine Protection Zone Announced

Creation of the Atlantic Ocean's largest conservation area
12-Nov-2020
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Chief Islander reports on Tristan's Marine Protection Zone

James Glass heralds 4 million square kilometre Blue Belt
11-Nov-2020
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World Ocean Day Tristan Blue Belt Update

The Blue Belt Programme's annual report shows Tristan at forefront of marine conservation.
8-Jun-2020
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Tristan central to Parliament OT Environment Meeting

Blue Belt and Gough Restoration plans discussed
5-Mar-2020
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Illegal Fishing focus at London Blue Belt Workshop

Tristan represented as technology surveillance is explained
27-Feb-2020
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Page Updated: ATBA: Areas To Be Avoided in Tristan Waters

Instructions to all shipping to avoid sailing near land
25-Jan-2020
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Tristan represented at Cornwall Blue Belt Symposium

Video showcases Tristan's Wildlife
31-Oct-2019
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Tristan represented at inaugural DEFRA-OT meeting

Overseas Territories briefed on environmental and Brexit matters
7-Aug-2019
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Wave Dancer hand-over ceremony

Event at Lymington in Hampshire
31-Jul-2019
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RRS Discovery's Tristan cruise ends

Review of the March 2019 expedition's work towards Blue Belt plans
1-Apr-2019
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RRS Discovery departs for St Helena

Blue Belt Expedition completes its Tristan Exclusive Economic Zone work
31-Mar-2019
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Natural History Museum event links with RRS Discovery

March 2019 event showcases on-going Blue Belt research in a live video link.
30-Mar-2019
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RRS Discovery arrives at Tristan

Multi-discipline team change-over, March 2019.
23-Mar-2019
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RRS Discovery wildlife observations

On the outward journey from the Falkland Islands to Tristan
15-Mar-2019
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RRS Discovery departs Falklands for Tristan

Latest episode of Blue Belt research gets underway
14-Mar-2019
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Blue Belt talks at London Zoo

Event organised by the Marine Management Organisation
17-Jan-2019
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Chief Islander in UK Blue Belt Meetings

Ian Lavarello takes part in second week of consultations
14-Dec-2018
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JMC Week Highlights

Tristan at centre stage of Overseas Territories' big week
8-Dec-2018
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Tristan Fisheries Department's excellent work celebrated

RSPB report to coincide with World Wildlife Conservation Day
4-Dec-2018
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Planning a Tristan da Cunha Marine Protection Strategy

Report of July 2018 London Meeting
27-Nov-2018
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Trip to Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands using new RIB

Tristan Conservation Department trip to support field work teams.
8-Nov-2018
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Wave Dancer in UK for refurbishment

Tristan's Fisheries Patrol boat arrives in UK for Blue Belt funded repairs
6-Oct-2018
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Blue Belt Annual Update Published

2017/18 Programme Booklet available to download
8-Aug-2018
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Tristan Blue Belt Summary

Oliver Yates from Cefas summarises progress up to June 2018
26-Jul-2018
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Tristan represented at No 10 Environment Meeting

UKOTA meets Sir John Randall, the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser for the Environment on 24th May 2018
29-May-2018
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Blue Belt survey aboard RRS James Clark Ross

March 2018 Blue Belt survey provides vital data for Tristan's marine protection zone plans
3-May-2018
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DEFRA Minister briefed on Tristan's Blue Belt Programme

Reception held aboard HMS Belfast on 18th April
29-Apr-2018
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London Blue Belt event aboard the ship CEFAS Endeavour

Tristan’s Blue Belt work showcased to Commonwealth leaders and promoted to UK schools
28-Apr-2018
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Report from Oliver Yates

Senior Cefas Marine Science Advisor visits Tristan da Cunha Islands January-February 2018
17-Apr-2018
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Bluenose survey around Gough Island and McNish seamount

On-going Blue Belt research on MFV Edinburgh
17-Apr-2018
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RRS James Clark Ross Expedition Newsletter

RRS James Clark Ross visited Tristan da Cunha waters 22-31 March 2018
4-Apr-2018
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RRS James Clark Ross visits Tristan

Presentation of Blue Belt research given to island community
3-Apr-2018
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Tristan Blue Belt plans presented to MPs

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove leads delegation of MPs committed to marine protection
22-Mar-2018
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RRS James Clark Ross helps Tristan's Blue Belt plans

UK marine research ship to carry out Tristan EEZ seamount surveys in March 2018
21-Mar-2018
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Report on Tristan da Cunha Marine Protection Planning Workshop

Blue Belt July 2017 London Workshop Report available to download
9-Mar-2018
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Cefas officer assists Tristan with Blue Belt Work

Update on Oliver Yates' work on Tristan's Blue Belt plans.
9-Feb-2018
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Blue Belt Update

Cefas and MMO team visit Tristan
6-Feb-2018
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Blue Belt Representatives to visit Tristan in January 2018

RMS St Helena's final Tristan voyage brings MMO and Cefas scientists to Tristan
27-Dec-2017
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Creating a Blue Belt around the Tristan da Cunha Islands

Update on progress towards a bespoke marine protection zone by 2020
6-Oct-2017
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Key Stakeholders meet to discuss Tristan's Blue Belt Commitment

Workshop held at the London FCO for Tristan to plan its strategy to protect its marine environment by 2020.
2-Aug-2017
Full story >>