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Presentation of Anguilla

Member state: United Kingdom
Surface area (km2): 132
Population: 15 962
Density (/km2): 90
Capital: The Valley

Location

Anguilla is the most northerly island of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Its geographic location is 180 north latitude and 630 west longitude.

Topography

The island’s name comes from the Spanish (and French) word for “eel” which is descriptive of the shape of the long narrow landform. Anguilla is sixteen miles long and three miles wide as its widest point. It is lowlying and its geology consists of a coral limestone formation. The island is enclosed by 64 km of coastline on which many of the island’s spectacular beaches are situated. Anguilla is a mostly flat island, with its highest point at 65m above sea level. The island does not have any natural rivers, streams or lakes, but boasts of its several large ponds which dot the landscape.

Anguilla OCTs Representations in Europe

Climate

Anguilla’s fortunate location in the Leeward Islands means that for much of the year there is a constant cooling air and relatively low humidity. The tropical climate and temperature tends to be constant year round, fluctuating between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Annual rainfall is about 42 inches and most of this occurs during the tropical hurricane season (from July to November), thus creating a pronounced wet and dry season.

Economic activities

Anguilla depends heavily on tourism, offshore banking, fishing and remittances from emigrants. General activity in the tourism sector sours growth in the construction sector, contributing to economic growth. Anguilla has put substantial effort into developing the offshore financial sector, which is small but growing.

Political and administrative status

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory. The House of Assembly is elected for five years and consist of seven elected members; the Chief Ministers (leader of Government business), two ex-officio members and two members nominated by the Governor. The British Monarch is represented by the Governor, who is responsible for defense, external affairs, internal security and offshore finance. The legal system is based on the English Common Law.

Universities/specialities

The Anguila Community College Univeristy of the West Indies, Distance Learning Centre Saint James School of Medicine

Focus

Little scrub island ecological project

Anguilla like most tropical Islands is biologically unique. The Anguillian archipelago is home to three endemic species; Little Scrub Ground lizard Ameiva corax, Sombero Island Ground lizard Ameiva corvina and Anguilla bush Rondelitia anguillensis. Like all islands, Anguilla is no different in terms of development challenges with regards to infrastructure and ensuring unique species continue to exist. Government’s economic and physical development sectors are well aware of the existing challenges and the impacts that future economic growth and associated physical infrastructure will have on the island’s unique environmental assemblages.

With this backdrop, Anguilla’s Government has partnered with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), an agency based in the United Kingdom, and have conducted assessments on Little Scrub Island (approximately 11 acres).

The assessment focused on the island’s avifauna, the population and conservation status of the Little Scrub’s endemic Ground lizard. In addition to this, a flora assessment, and an assessment of invasive species on the island were conducted. This proactive approach by the Government is to be applauded. It is within the realities that small islands face multiple problems, with ensuring ecological sustainability while facilitating economic and physical infrastructural development.

The project was coordinated and executed by the Department of Environment and provides invaluable information of the unique ecological assemblages and how they interrelate with the various niche habitat requirements of various species. Of particular interest is that the island’s endemic lizard is still abundant, compared to a survey conducted ten years ago. In the future, the existing data can be incorporated into decision making in regards to development to ensure ecological sustainability.

Contact in Europe