Tristan’s key place at COP26

Tristan’s significant role in COP26 Glasgow climate conference


© Tristan Website



Tristan islander Lucas Swain’s moving plea on film was a highlight of the
Saturday 6th November OT COP26 session – see below.


Tristan da Cunha Environment and Conservation Policy Officer Stephanie Martin has been granted accreditation among the small Overseas Territories (OT) contingent that is part of the UK delegation to COP26.




The UK Overseas Territories delegation at COP26 in Glasgow:
From left, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Vincent Wheatley of British Virgin Islands;

Parliamentary Secretary Quincia Gumbs-Marie of Anguilla; Deputy Premier Walter Roban of Bermuda;

Minister of Tourism Josephine Connolly of Turks and Caicos;
Premier Wayne Panton of Cayman Islands;

and Environment and Conservation Policy Officer Stephanie Martin of Tristan da Cunha.
Photo: UK Overseas Territory Association.


Stephanie is acting as co-ordinator for the contingent and will report back via UKOTA on the event as it affects all UKOTs. It’s an honour for Tristan that a Tristan da Cunha Government employee has been given such a key role.


On Thursday 4th November 2021, the OT group met with Marc Vanheukelen, the EU Ambassador at large for climate diplomacy. A good discussion and sharing of ideas took place.


On Saturday 6th November the OT group hosted its own event at the conference on COP26’s Nature and Land Use Day. This event, titled ‘Our Vision for Healthy Oceans’, included discussions on the role of OTs in helping to counter and mitigate global-warming effects and protecting marine environments that are the lifeblood of many of the island jurisdictions.


To view a film clip relating to Tristan da Cunha’s recently established Marine Protection Zone ‘Our Vision for Healthy Oceans – UK Overseas Territories’ follow the link:

The film features a moving message from Tristan islander Lucas Swain and also features Stephanie Martin referring to Tristan’s Marine Prorection Zone. There are numerous images of scenes around the Tristan da Cunha islands.


During the session, the chair Walter Roban, deputy premier of Bermuda, praised Stephanie for her work on behalf of the whole UKOT contingent.


Gibraltar’s environment minister Prof John Cortes highlighted the Tristan Marine Protection Zone as an example of marine conservation in action.


Tara Pelembe, deputy director of the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute, noted the importance of rock lobster to Tristan da Cunha, and observed that many OTs have ‘strong cultural identities closely tied to the sea’.


The introduction to the session sums up its significance:


Our Vision for Healthy Oceans – UK Overseas Territories


A worldwide family of small communities are guardians of the sixth-largest marine estate on earth and are on the front-line of climate change. This event will explore how the UK Overseas Territories are taking action to counter and mitigate the effects of global warming by safeguarding precious marine environments.


Stephanie will prepare a Tristan-focussed report on COP26 which will appear in the February 2022 Tristan Newsletter.