The Wilder Islands Conference (IIEM2019)

SEPTEMBER 26TH -28TH, 2019

What role do the Islands of the British Isles and Overseas Territories have to play in a world where ecosystem collapse is seen as increasingly inevitable?Often Islands lack the economic or political resources to have a voice on the global environmental stage and they face many of the same pressures on their environments - over-population, development, economic insecurity and resource scarcity – and often have even scarcer resources to protect - yet they are uniquely positioned to help future wildlife recovery. Could our islands act as biodiversity lifeboats, refuges for the unique endemic species they host and as shelters for habitats and species under increasing pressure elsewhere?

The Wilder Islands Conference combines the annual Inter-Islands Environment Meeting with an additional day of talks and discussions, the aim being to enable representatives from not only the Channel Islands, but also from across the British Isles and its Overseas Territories and the wider scientific community, to discuss the role of islands as biodiversity hotspots in a future response to global environmental decline. The Wilder Islands Conference aims to bring scientists, conservationists and policy makers together to focus on what steps these communities might take for a Wilder Future for their islands.


IIEM2019 – A combination of presentations, opportunity for debate and field visits, hosted in a selection of venues making the best of Alderney’s historic and rugged environment. The IIEM has been running since 2000 and this year we are looking to discover more about how the islands of the Crown Dependencies, Overseas Territories and wider British Isles are responding to the growing threat to island/regional ecosystems.


Wilder Islands Day - We are delighted to be able to offer attendees this additional conference day, chaired by Dr. George McGavin and with Tony Juniper, Bryce Stewart and Rob Stoneman (see Guests) attending. We envision this as a day of talks by inspirational speakers who have detailed knowledge of the importance of island biodiversity and the threats faced by our unique communities. There will be the opportunity for discussion around each presentation, with an emphasis on how islands can secure their environment against a trend of global decline, and the very important role that islands play in retaining biodiversity on a national and global scale.

We’d be delighted if you would join us for all 3 days so you have already let us know you are attending please confirm if you will be staying for this exciting days discussion –



Alongside our delegate speakers we are delighted to say that we have the following additional guest attendees, with more pending confirmation:

- Tony Juniper, environmental campaigner and renowned journalist, Tony is hoping to join the Wilder Islands Event. Having just stepped into the role as CEO of Natural England we are sure he will bring a whole new perspective to the Conference. His previous roles include President for The Wildlife Trusts and Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Island.
- Dr. George McGavin, renowned entomologist and TV presenter, has been the Alderney Wildlife Trust’s patron since 2007. George's extensive experience of island ecosystems and life-long studies makes him and ideal Chair for the Event
- Dr. Bryce Stewart is a marine ecology and fisheries biologist based at the University of York. His work has covered fisheries management, the promotion of sustainable seafood and, since 2016, he has been involved with assessing the effects of Brexit on UK fisheries and the marine environment.
- Rob Stoneman, having just stood down after 15 years as CEO of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has now taken on a challenging role as Rewilding Area Coordinator, for Rewilding Europe.
- Jean-Luc Solandt is the Principal Specialist for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at the Marine Conservation Society. A marine biologist who has lead on the international protection for the basking shark and MPAs.
- Dr. Samuel Turvey, is Senior Research Fellow of the Royal Society University Research Fellowship, Institute of Zoology. His work encompasses both past and present human impacts on biodiversity, from research into the magnitude and dynamics of extinctions during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, to science-based conservation management of some of the world's most highly threatened species.


The IIEM2019 and the Wilder Islands Conference have received generous support from a range of sources including the Insurance Corporation and the States of Alderney. As a result, there will be no attendance charge for delegates, though there will be some small charges towards the cost of food for delegates.

We are preparing information on accommodation and travel arrangements for delegates and will accept applications for a limited number of grants to support attendance (please contact us at

Please click on the link below to download more information.


The conference days are as follows in September:

1) - Wednesday 25th; ice breaker and arrivals

2) - Thursday 26th; Inter Islands - Day 1

3) - Friday 27th; Intern Islands/Wilder Futures - Day 2

4) - Saturday 28th;  Wilder Islands - Day 3

5)   - Sunday 29th; Wrap up and departure Day