Webinar to Celebrate Marine Nature Reserves

The island’s marine nature reserves are the subject of a webinar being broadcast by UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man on Monday June 21. Marine Nature Reserves – the Beating Blue Hearts of Biosphere’ will be delivered by Dr Peter Duncan, The gov’s Senior Marine Environment Officer. 

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:‘The Island’s 10 marine nature reserves make up more than half the Island’s inshore (1-3 miles) waters and are home to a variety of regionally-important, life-giving habitats, and a fascinating array of creatures. In the ethos of Biosphere, the designation of marine nature reserves balances the needs of nature conservation and people who earn a living from the sea or use it for leisure. The webinar offers the chance to learn all about each reserve’s unique characteristics and why these matter to our Biosphere. It will include unseen video and photographs, collected by our marine science programme and from recreational divers.’

The webinar is the latest in a year-long series being delivered by UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man, Dublin Bay Biosphere and Kerry Biosphere in 2021. The series marks the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme and the webinars are officially accredited 50th anniversary events. There is also the chance to ask questions of Dr Duncan after his presentation and to learn a little about the Irish Biospheres. The webinar runs from 12 noon to 1.30pm on Zoom and it is free to sign up

Census

There’s still plenty of time to complete the 2021 Census over the coming weeks, meaning anyone in a household which hasn’t yet submitted their form has no need to worry. The gov’s website experienced several high profile issues over the last couple of weeks, but it is now said to be working properly. Despite the issues, more than 22,000 census forms have now been completed online at www.gov.im/census, meaning that over half of the Island’s households have now submitted their census information digitally.

The 2021 Census is the first to be ‘digital by default’ meaning that anyone who wishes to complete a paper form needs to request one. The census team is working to process a number of requests for paper forms and these should arrive at people’s homes over the next few days. Anyone requiring assistance should contact the census team by calling +44 1624 685700 or emailing census@gov.im.  The Census Office, at Nivison House (formerly the Job Centre) on Prospect Hill, Douglas, is open from 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Roadmap Stays True

Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has said he has seen ‘nothing in the data’ to mean the easing of lockdown measures in England can’t go ahead – although he said there was a need to wait ‘a little bit longer’ for a firm decision. The planned ‘Freedom Day’ is due in just under three weeks on June 21.

Extra Bank Holiday

Britain is going to get an extra bank holiday next year to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. Buckingham Palace has said that The bank holiday weekend will allow for four days of celebrations including public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s reign. As well as the extended weekend, there will be year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations throughout the UK and around the world. However, with the planned bank holiday weekend being held Thursday June 2 to Sunday June 5, how it will affect the island remains to be seen as it would fall at the end of Practice Week when TT22 sees the return of the world’s best road races. 

I Went to Gibraltar By Mistake

Easyjet is investigating how a teacher from Manchester ended up on a flight to Gibraltar. Gemma Cargin, 25, is originally from Banbridge, County Down, was travelling to Belfast, but ended up on the wrong flight as she mistook the boarding gates. The airline is struggling to explain how she ended up on the flight despite her boarding pass being checked prior to her getting on the plane. 

Sri Lanka Disaster

The BBC is reporting that a chemical-laden cargo ship is sinking off the coast of Sri Lanka, sparking fears of an environmental disaster.  The Singapore-registered X-Press Pearl had been on fire for almost two weeks before the blaze was put out this week.  Hundreds of tonnes of oil from fuel tanks could leak into the sea if it sinks, devastating nearby marine life.  The Sri Lankan and Indian navies had worked jointly over the past days in an attempt to put out the fire and prevent the ship from breaking up and sinking. Environmentalist Dr Ajantha Perera told the BBC that the sinking posed ‘the worst environmental scenario’.

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