In February 2015, Sir Richard Branson wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron to encourage the British government to create a marine reserve around the Pitcairn archipelago. Dr. Sylvia Earle was also heavily engaged in discussions with government members and other organizations advocating for protection. Subsequently, Ocean Elders wrote to the Prime Minister to “express our strong support of the proposals by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Marine Reserves Coalition to designate fully protected marine reserves in the British Overseas Territories of Ascension Island, the Pitcairn Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. This action would protect over 1.75 million square km of near pristine ocean and deliver a lasting legacy for the UK government towards the conservation of marine ecosystems.”
On September 15, 2016, at the Our Ocean conference, the British government designated Pitcairn and Ascension Islands, St. Helena, and Tristan da Cunha as marine protected areas.