18 May 2023
On Wednesday 17 May 2023, Chief Minister Julie Thomas hosted a reception at the Palace of Westminster in London to celebrate St Helena’s Green and Blue Agenda and the ongoing Cloud Forest Project. Speaker of the UK House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, kindly allowed the reception to take place in the State Rooms of the Speaker’s House.
Over 120 guests attended. This included UK Parliamentarians, St Helena Cloud Forest Project partners, people connected with St Helena through charities and other groups, officials from UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and St Helenian students currently studying in the UK.
During the event speeches were made by the Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Overseas Territories Minister for the UK Government Lord Goldsmith, Beccy Speight the CEO and Shayla Ellick of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Chair of the St Helena All Party Parliamentary Group Amanda Milling MP.
These focused on celebrating the wide variety of work underway in St Helena related to the Island’s environmental management and stewardship. This included St Helena’s Blue Agenda and the Island’s MPA and internationally recognised sustainable fishery, as well as our Green Agenda and ongoing cloud forest restoration project.
The voices of some of the cloud forest workforce were brought to the reception through a short video during the speeches. A longer video showcasing some of St Helena’s Blue and Green initiatives was also shown during the reception.
On the event, Chief Minister Julie Thomas said:
“I was humbled to see so many people attend tonight and show such interest in what we have achieved and what we are aspiring to deliver in St Helena. It is a testament to the amazing work underway across our terrestrial and marine environments that such an array of guests wanted to be here, whether to celebrate or learn more.
Our Green and Blue Agenda can only be achieved by working together as a community with our international partners. When we bring our local knowledge and expertise together with that of larger organisations and funders, we’ve shown that we can deliver internationally recognised results.”
Thanks are extended to HMG and other partners for the funding to make many of these initiatives happen.
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