The Inter-Island Environment Meeting recently celebrated its 20th anniversary by being hosted online for the first time, supporting communication between environmental experts and enthusiasts unable to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the meetings which is hosted by each island in turn. This year’s IIEM was hosted by Guernsey. With uncertainty over COVID-19 travel restrictions, the meeting was held virtually over Zoom for the first time. The virtual format has had some great feedback and enabled IIEM to reach a wider audience, something that is hoped to carry forward to future meetings.
Speakers from Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey, Isle of Man, UK and France all participated with topics ranging from specific research into local pollinator populations to the wider view of how governments can step up to meet their global commitments.
IIEM gives the islands a chance to forge links, share knowledge and learn lessons from each other. It was particularly important to keep these communication lines open during the pandemic when many organisations around the world are facing loss of resource. This was a message re-enforced by the multi-day workshop.
- Day 1 focused around the obstacles COVID-19 has brought to the environmental field. Although funding, public engagement and a change in policies were all discussed, the biggest problem found was the break in communication that has been a consequence of the pandemic.
- Day 2 of the workshop discussed how to overcome these obstacles. This led communications guidance and the formation of actions that can be taken by government,
NGOs and the community to keep the environment part of the COVID-19 recovery. For those who were unable to attend the event, or wish to revisit the talks that took place, the presentations can be viewed below:
Catherine Veron – A new Alderney wildlife law
Dr Miranda Bane – Pollinators past, present and future
Paul Chambers – Thinking Big! Spatial modelling & future planning for Jersey’s marine environment
Tim Earl – Biodiversity in the Isle of Man
Tim Liddiard – Habitat condition assessment to inform management and restoration
More information can be found on the IIEM Facebook page.