The BEST initiative

Making a difference for biodiversity and sustainable development in 7 regions of global importance

BEST is an open partnership which aims to foster and support...

- biodiversity and ecosystem conservation,

- sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services, 

- ecosystem-based solutions to climate change

In Europe's 9 outermost regions and 25 overseas countries and territories

Towards the implementation of international and regional targets and greater regional cooperation between Europe Overseas and other countries

Promoting biodiversity and ecosystem services in 7 regions around the world 

Photo F. Blanchard

Why is this important?

- Europe's overseas host over 70% of EU species and 20% of the world's coral reefs and lagoons

- Together, the 34 EU overseas entities make up the largest marine domain in the world - covering more than 5% of the global ocean surface - and are leaders in marine protection

- Located in all of the planet's large oceans, they are key actors for ocean governance

- EU overseas are at the fore-front of climate change - the greatest challenge facing us over the next century - and already experience its effects:

Increasing temperatures - in New Caledonia the average temperature is 1C higher than 40 years ago

Coral bleaching - massive bleaching in 2016 damaged up to 80% of coral in La Réunion and previously resistant reefs in New Caledonia which provided coastal protection valued at euros 220 million/year

Sea level rise - 2x faster than the global average in French Polynesia between 1950 and 2010

Work by the BEST partnership is making a difference

An European initiative in 7 regions of global importance

BEST from Plans to Actions

- Regional ecosystem profiles  have been developed with regional experts and stakeholders to establish baseline data used to guide long-term conservation efforts and investments

- Regional investment strategies identify funding needs and propose relevant projects ready to be funded

- The BEST initiative has funded over 60 projects around the world since 2011

with a wide scope...

Coral restoration and management

Photo E. Meesters

Species tracking and monitoring

Photo R. Renoux

Conservation of endemic and endangered species

Photo J. Chambon

Climate change impact monitoring

Photo F. Ledoux

Forest protection and sustainable use

 Photo E. Dias

Improved management of natural resources and protected areas

Photo L. Thaiult

Public education and empowerment

Photo Conservation International, F. Tron

And many more...

This is the start of something much larger...

With international recognition and acknowledgement

COP CBD- Decision XI-15

World conservation congress 2016 - Motion 070

As a GLISPA (Global Island Partnership) Interregional Challenge

To find out more:

Contact - Carole Martinez (

Further information

BEST initiative (European Commission)

IUCN EU Overseas

BEST 2.0 portal

European Overseas forum