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1 March 2024

Fostering institutional engagement: BESTLIFE2030 at the OCTs-EU Forum and OCTA Ministerial Conference

OCTA Ministerial Conference © IUCN

BESTLIFE2030 seized the opportunity presented by the OCTs-EU Forum and the Ministerial Conference of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) held during the week of February 26-29 in Brussels to raise awareness of the programme among key institutional stakeholders from both the European Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and the European Union (EU).

The Thematic Workshop on Regional/Intraregional Partnerships provided valuable insights into successful collaborative projects for sustainable development and climate change responses. It emphasized the need to strengthen win-win partnerships across EU Overseas Countries and Territories, including the EU Outermost Regions (ORs).

Furthermore, bilateral exchanges between the programme and delegates from various countries highlighted the importance of fostering seamless dialogue. This dialogue is essential for the purposeful engagement of territorial governments in the initiative and for garnering active support for local conservation actions, like those supported by BESTLIFE2030.

During the Ministerial Conference of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), BESTLIFE2030 addressed an audience comprising Ministers and high-level representatives from the 13 OCTs. Boris Erg, Director of the IUCN European Regional Office, highlighted the significant potential of BESTLIFE2030 and the EU Overseas in contributing to the targets of the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Reflecting on past BEST-funded initiatives, the programme offered evidence of the effectiveness of its theory of change, an inclusive grant-making approach. This approach ensures a short line between the needs of local actors and communities and the provision of funding to meet those challenges. It also fosters ownership around biodiversity conservation practices.

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