The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the United Kingdom's Overseas Territories

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The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the United Kingdom's Overseas Territories.

March 2012

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Our aim is to improve the quality of life for all through cultural and sporting activities, support the pursuit of excellence, and champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries.

I firmly believe that it is vital for our Overseas Territories to be vibrant and flourishing communities, proudly retaining aspects of their British identity and generating wider opportunities for their people. My Department currently works in a number of ways to support the people of our Overseas Territories, including in the fields of communications, culture, and sport, and we will work to build on those links in the future.’
John Penrose, Minister for Tourism and Heritage.

The United Kingdom has responsibility for 14 Overseas Territories1, eleven of which are permanently populated. The Territories have their own constitutions and most have a democratically elected government. Most powers are devolved to the Territories, but the UK remains responsible for their good governance, defence and external relations.
The UK Overseas Territories share with Britain a common history, heritage and culture. Many of the policy areas which DCMS covers provide a reflection of that heritage and sense of identity.
DCMS’s aim is to improve the quality of life for all through cultural and sporting activities, to support the pursuit of excellence and to champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries. We support a range of arm’s length bodies, such as the British Museum, English Heritage and the Arts Council and many of these have their own links with Overseas Territories. VisitBritain, for example, is responsible for promoting tourism to Britain, but it has also given expert advice to Overseas Territories on tourism marketing.
The Diamond Jubilee will be a great opportunity to celebrate 60 years of public service by Her Majesty the Queen and reflect on the cultural ties that link the UK and its Overseas Territories and many people from the Overseas Territories will be taking part in the celebrations. The Diamond Jubilee medal will be awarded to people in key front line public services throughout the UK and in the Overseas Territories.
For the Trooping of the Colour ceremony and other ceremonial occasions, the flags of the Overseas Territories will be flown to bring these territories in line with the Commonwealth Nations.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office leads on policy towards the Overseas Territories, with other Government Departments supporting the Territories on areas within their responsibilities as appropriate.
The main areas where DCMS engages with Overseas Territories are telecommunications, gambling, anti-doping in sport, museums and the World Heritage Convention. More detail about these particular areas is set out below.
The DCMS Minister with lead responsibility for Overseas Territory issues is John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage and the official contact point is Roger Higginson (+44 (0)20 7211 6122 ;

Government Art Collection

The Government Art Collection contains over 13,500 works of art, mainly by British artists ranging from the 16th century to the present day. Works from the Collection are displayed in the offices and reception rooms of several hundred major British Government buildings in the United Kingdom and around the world. The Collection currently has works of art on loan in four Overseas Territories: the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat and St Helena. These are sited in the Governors’ Residences and offices.

In 2003 and 2005 the Government Art Collection catalogued and placed on its inventory over 120 works of art of historical importance which belong to the Governor’s Residence in Gibraltar. In the summer of 2005, the Collection organised the conservation of 13 historic works on paper from the building and in October of that year rehung the main displays in the Residence area, introducing relevant works from its own holdings, in readiness for the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Trafalgar. It is hoped that in due course the Collection will be able to organise the conservation of the remainder of the paintings and works on paper.

Telecommunications will play a key role in the economic future of the UK’s Overseas Territories as the digital economy continues to develop. DCMS works with a range of international organisations, supporting the development of telecommunications policies that allow businesses to operate effectively and deliver full benefits to consumers. DCMS

  • provides international expertise

  • leads negotiation of major EU legislation

  • promotes joint work on global regulation and standards

  • promotes reform of the International Telecommunication Union and

  • represents the UK and its Overseas Territories in international fora for Internet governance.  

We work closely with the institutions of the European Union, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies.

It allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits and develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies interconnect.

The UK is responsible for satellite filings for Overseas Territories. The ITU charges a cost recovery fee for satellite filings, which is paid by the satellite’s commercial operator via the national administration. In the UK, satellite filings for UK Overseas Territories are administered by the Office of Communications (Ofcom). The UK Government in effect acts as a last resort guarantor for these fee payments. DCMS also participates in regional agreements on behalf of UK Overseas Territories, for example negotiating spectrum issues with North American states on behalf of Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.
We encourage Overseas Territories to take part in international telecommunications stakeholder groups and forums such as sector events at the ITU. The Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation in particular offers support and advice on development issues and Overseas Territories are encouraged to take part.
In the area of Internet governance, DCMS represents Overseas Territories in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which is the private sector-led organisation that manages the Internet’s domain name system. DCMS sits on its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). In recent years we have protected the interests particularly of Bermuda and Montserrat in consultation with their governments. Representatives from the Overseas Territories are welcome to attend GAC meetings behind the UK flag, as Bermuda has done in recent years.
We will look at ways to enable all Overseas Territories to engage more in this work in the future, for example by ensuring that they are aware of key meetings, such as the annual UN Internet Governance Forum and ICANN / GAC which meets three times a year, and their respective agendas. We will also encourage Overseas Territories to take full advantage of the work of the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum, for example by engaging with its child protection toolkit and the work on cybercrime that it is currently developing.
DCMS is responsible for the Gambling Act, which regulates commercial gambling in Great Britain, including arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machines, society lotteries and remote gambling operations based in the UK. The Act has three principal objectives:

  • keeping gambling crime free

  • making sure that gambling is fair and open

  • protecting children and vulnerable adults

We are conscious that the British regulatory framework can have an impact on the UK’s Overseas Territories and we work closely with Gibraltar in particular, which has significant gambling operators.

All British-based organisations operating in Britain need to have a licence from the Gambling Commission. Gambling operators from outside Britain who want to offer their services in Britain must be licensed or regulated in either an EEA state or one of the states approved by DCMS on the ‘White List.’ Gibraltar, which is part of the EEA, is currently the only UK Overseas Territory which does not require a licence from the Gambling Commission to operate in Britain. Some major gambling operators such as William Hill and Ladbrokes have recently moved their operations from the UK to Gibraltar.

In July 2011, the Department announced its intention to phase out the “White List” system and require all overseas-based remote gambling operators in Britain to be licenced by the UK Gambling Commission. This reform will ensure consistency for all overseas operators, including all operators based in Overseas Territories.  It will mean that British consumers have consistent consumer protection arrangements and do not have to deal with a myriad of different regulators depending on where the gambling they are taking part in is regulated. 

We recognise that this reform could have a particular impact on Gibraltar. The Gambling Commission will ensure that regulatory good practice is recognised under the new arrangements so that businesses based in trusted jurisdictions will have a much lighter touch approach and, for example, will not have to duplicate regulatory work. We also intend to put in place a period of transition, which will ensure a minimum of disruption for operators in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar, the EU and gambling regulation
Gibraltar is a unique UK Overseas Territory in that European Union legislation can apply there. Gibraltar’s Parliament is responsible for the transposition of European Union directives. The regulation of the gambling industry in Gibraltar is part of the Ministry of Finance in Gibraltar, which has close working relationships with the UK Gambling Commission.

The European Commission has published a Green Paper looking at a number of issues, including the issue of minimum or common standards of gambling regulation across the European Union. Later in the year should see a planned communication on online gambling. The Communication will be a follow-up to the Green paper on online gambling in the Internal Market providing a substantial evaluation of the responses to the consultation, and identifying key challenges for the co-existence of national regulatory models within the Internal Market and initiatives to be taken at national and EU level. The Communication will identify a number of policy options and will also elaborate on the appropriate level of regulation, i.e. national or European level, at which such policies could be implemented. Many Member States are currently in the process of reviewing existing online gambling legislation. The law relating to online gambling in the EU has not been harmonised and is governed by 27 differing national systems. Despite the cross-border nature of this (online) sector, it is not covered by specific EU-level legislation. In fact, it is specifically excluded from several texts, including the e-Commerce and Services Directives, due to opposition from some Member States. The Commission’s intention with this Communication is to start developing a sector-specific policy on gambling services.

DCMS speaks on behalf of Gibraltar at European Union meetings. We consult closely with colleagues in Gibraltar and DCMS Ministers discuss key issues with the Chief Minister.

We are also able to support complaints by Gibraltar-based operators about breaches of the Single Market elsewhere in Europe. We will continue to work closely with Gibraltar and ensure that its interests are properly represented at the European level.

Sport has a unique power to unite people, with major sporting events bringing people together to share the drama and celebrate the achievement of sporting excellence from around the world The London 2012 Games offer great opportunities to celebrate sport and the links that it fosters and many of the Overseas Territories will be taking part.

In sport, DCMS’s main engagement with the Overseas Territories is in the area of anti-doping. The UK ratified the UNESCO Anti-Doping Convention in 2006.

The Convention commits Governments to fund National Anti-Doping Organisations to provide education and testing, take measures to restrict the availability of banned substances and withhold funding from non-compliant sports and athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) promotes, coordinates and monitors the fight against doping in sport. It is custodian of the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards which provide the International framework for educating, testing and sanctioning athletes.

UK Anti-Doping is an arm’s length body of DCMS, responsible for the implementation and management of our anti-doping policy. Overseas Territories are responsible for funding and implementing their own programmes and UK Anti-Doping works closely with them to support their compliance.

UNESCO has developed an online system for monitoring countries’ compliance with the Convention against Doping in Sport. Reporting takes place every two years and Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Falkland Islands took part in the recent reporting exercise in September 2011.

The UK has also successfully applied on behalf of the Cayman Islands for US$4,000 from the UNESCO Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport to fund an anti-doping awareness workshop. We will consider similar opportunities in the future to apply for funding on behalf of the Overseas Territories.
DCMS sponsors a range of national museums, which provide free access to a wealth of inspiring objects representing heritage from Britain and from around the world. Many of our museums hold material from the UK Overseas Territories.
The National Maritime Museum, for example, holds charts, manuscripts, photographs, paintings, coins and maps from a large number of the Territories. They include whaling station furniture from South Georgia and the South Sandwich islands, material relating to the Bounty mutiny and Pitcairn Island and material from the time when Napoleon was on St Helena.
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums’ collection includes objects from Ascension Island, the Falklands, Gibraltar, Monserrat and Tristan da Cunha and it holds around 50 objects relating to Bermuda’s maritime history.
The Natural History Museum holds collections from nearly all the Overseas Territories, including corals and molluscs from British Indian Ocean Territory, Neanderthal fossils from Forbes' Quarry and Devil's Tower in Gibraltar and significant entomological collections from Anguilla and the Cayman Islands. Its library holds very significant collections of drawings, paintings, engravings and manuscripts from or relating to the Territories.
The Natural History Museum runs projects in a number of Overseas Territories, including active research projects in British Antarctic Territory. In 2005 it coordinated the comprehensive Central Peaks Project of St Helena, supporting on going conservation efforts. It directed the Gibraltar Caves Project in the 1990s, work from which is still being published, and there are on-going research projects involving Neanderthal fossils from Gibraltar.

Natural History Museum in the Falkland Islands
The Natural History Museum has worked on a range of projects in the Falkland Islands, including projects concerning the geology and palaeontology of the Islands and to identify marine sample material. The Museum and the Falklands Islands Government is collaborating on a project looking at the beetles of some of the outlying Falkland islands, which appear to retain relatively complete faunas, including undescribed new species. The Museum is also excavating avian fossil bones from peat bed deposits in the western Falkland Islands and fossil specimens have been donated to Stanley Museum.

The Imperial War Museum has exhibitions and learning programmes about the Falklands War. Their film collection includes scenes from Anguilla after the British landing in March 1969, footage of HMS Southampton in Montserrat after the volcanic eruption in August 1995 and air views of the British Antarctic Territory. Their sound archive includes material from Montserrat and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus. They have books, photographs and other material from Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Falklands, Gibraltar, British Indian Ocean Territory and the British Virgin Islands.

The British Library has remarkable images – engravings, maps, stamps and views – relating to the Overseas Territories which can be seen in their Online Gallery. It has printed books, manuscripts, newspapers and maps from a range of different Territories.

Its sound recordings include wildlife recordings from eight Territories, unique recordings of traditional music from Pitcairn Island and interviews from an oral history project in 2006 with islanders from Tristan da Cunha.

The British Library holds 168 volumes of records relating to St Helena between 1676 and 1836, when the island was administered by the East India Company. It also holds philatelic material for all of the Territories except Anguilla and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus.
The British Library awarded a grant to the Turks and Caicos Islands National Museum in 2010 through its Endangered Archives Programme, to locate and survey archival material dispersed after Hurricane Ike struck the Island, and to undertake some digitisation and preservation. Approximately 115 records were digitised, comprising of official dispatches dating from 1853 to 1859.
These digital copies are held at the Turks and Caicos Islands National Museum and at the British Library.

Science Museum in Gibraltar

The Science Museum has been working with the Kusuma Trust to put on science shows in Gibraltar, using science to inspire and educate Gibraltarian school children. In 2010 four members of staff spent a week in Gibraltar performing six shows a day. This initial visit reached 1200 school children under the age of seven. The shows were covered on local TV, radio and press. In 2011, three members of staff visited Gibraltar for a week, this time reaching over 2600 7-14 year olds. There are plans for another visit in 2012 focused on pupils between the ages of 14 and 16.

World Heritage
DCMS is responsible for the UK’s compliance with the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which the UK ratified in 1984. We currently have 28 World Heritage Sites, three of which are in Overseas Territories: Town of St George and Related Fortifications in Bermuda, Gough and Inaccessible Islands and Henderson Island (see box).
Every six years, the signatories to the Convention are invited to submit a report to UNESCO covering the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties located on its territories. DCMS submits these on behalf of word heritage sites in the Overseas Territories and represents the Overseas Territories at meetings of the World Heritage Committee.
English Heritage is DCMS’ lead advisory body on heritage matters and has supported Bermuda in preparing material for submission to the World Heritage Committee.
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation. It has prepared advice and material for Gough and Inaccessible Islands and Henderson Island.
DCMS is also responsible for nominating sites for world heritage status. Governments put forward new sites from a Tentative List of Future Nominations. Each Tentative List is expected to last for approximately ten years. Following a public consultation and review process, DCMS announced the new UK Tentative List in March 2011. There are eleven sites on the list, three of them in Overseas Territories:

  • Gorham’s Cave Complex, Gibraltar - This complex is important because of the long sequence of occupation and the evidence for the end of Neanderthal humans, and the arrival of modern humans.

  • The Island of St. Helena – This site has a high number of endemic species and genera and a range of habitats, from cloud forest to desert, representing a biome of great age which exists nowhere else on earth.

  • Turks & Caicos Islands - The islands have a high number of endemic species and others of international importance, partially dependent on the conditions created by the oldest established salt-pan development in the Caribbean.

The Expert Panel that reviewed the List also suggested that the Fountain Cavern in Anguilla could be considered for the UK Tentative List in the future as part of a possible transnational nomination.

English Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee are supporting these sites to develop their submissions to UNESCO for formal adoption on the UK Tentative List.

DCMS has invited all these sites to take part in a seminar to discuss the next steps in the process.

World Heritage Sites in the Overseas Territories

Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda - The Town of St George, founded in 1612, is an outstanding example of the earliest English urban settlement in the New World. Its associated fortifications graphically illustrate the development of English military engineering from the 17th to the 20th century, being adapted to take account of the development of artillery over this period.

Gough and Inaccessible Islands - This site is located in the south Atlantic, south west of Tristan da Cunha. It is one of the least-disrupted island and marine ecosystems in the cool temperate zone. The spectacular cliffs of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, towering above the ocean, are free of introduced mammals and home to one of the world’s largest colonies of sea birds. Gough Island is home to two endemic species of land birds, the gallinule and the Gough rowettie, as well as to 12 endemic species of plants, while Inaccessible Island boasts two birds, eight plants and at least 10 invertebrates endemic to the island.

Henderson Island – Henderson Island lies in the eastern South Pacific, 120 miles north east of Pitcairn Island. It is one of the few atolls in the world whose ecology has been practically untouched by a human presence. Its isolated location provides the ideal context for studying the dynamics of insular evolution and natural selection. It is particularly notable for the 10 plants and four land birds that are endemic to the island.

National Lottery
The National Lottery cannot be played in the Overseas Territories and National Lottery grants are restricted to recipients located in the UK or Isle of Man. Lottery funding can be made to organisations based in the UK for activities overseas, such as in the Overseas Territories, provided the funding meets the purposes (legislation or charter) of the relevant distributor.  There is no bar on Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) making such grants but HLF’s current policy is to treat any such applications as a low priority. When making decisions on funding, HLF take into account their policy directions which place an emphasis on funding the heritage of the UK for access by the people of the UK. HLF are currently considering their strategic priorities for 2013-19 but, again, that strategic approach is decided at arms’ length from Government.  
Participation in Broader UK Issues: The Diamond Jubilee
A series of key events will take place over the extended bank holiday week-end in June 2012 to mark the occasion of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and we are working very hard to ensure that the Overseas Territories are given every opportunity to engage with the celebrations. The Territories will participate in the Thames Pageant on Sunday 3 June and many will light a beacon to mark the occasion on Monday 4 June.
Citizens of the Overseas Territories will also be eligible for the Diamond Jubilee medal provided they meet the agreed eligibility criteria, and members of the Royal Family will be visiting the Territories throughout the Diamond Jubilee year on behalf of the Queen.2-4 Cockspur Streetdescription: dcms gif logo

London SW1Y 5DH

1 Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Turks and Caicos Islands

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