It was chaired by the Guadeloupe Regional Council delegation and attended by 30 participants from DG DEVCO, DG ENV, DG RTD, representatives from OCTA and OCTA TAT, the French Overseas Ministry, EBCD, RSPB, IUCN, CI, PEW, WWF France and FRC-Azores. The Head of the Delegation from the Guadeloupe Regional Council opened the meeting by explaining the overall objective of the conference, the role they will play to ensure the ownership of the event by the Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories. He added that their common concerns and environmental priority issues should lead the conference agenda and the outcomes.
The European Commission reminded the background on which the conference should rest; these include: the message from La Reunion, the EU biodiversity and climate change adaptation strategies, the ongoing BEST Preparatory Action, the proposal for a Regulation on Invasive Alien Species, the achievement of the Aichi targets and other international initiatives such as CBD COP XI, UN International Year of SIDS, International Day of Biodiversity with the MAES conference and the Islands exhibition of the 22 May and UNFCCC COP 20.
The Conference format proposal foresees two days of technical workshops followed by a high level political segment to endorse a “Roadmap from Guadeloupe”.
Since the Region of Guadeloupe and the British Virgin Islands, respectively hold the OR and OCTA Presidency in 2014, DG DEVCO launched the idea to develop a clear joint message on biodiversity and Climate Change issues involving the EU overseas.
It was also agreed that an Executive Steering committee including a Guadeloupe representative, OCTA, DG ENV and IUCN would be set up for the selection of themes to be addressed and, for the drafting of the joint Roadmap. OCTA reiterated the interest of being a co-organizer of the event in order to increase the ownership and visibility of OCTs.