2019 IAATO Annual General Meeting – Cape Town

Her Majesty’s Commissioner, Nigel Phillips CBE, introduced the GSGSSI presentation at this year’s IAATO AGM held in Cape Town between the 1st and 3rd May 2019. The Commissioner spoke about GSGSSI’s mantra of evidence-based decision making, preparations for growing number of visitors, and the importance of collaboration and development of strategic relationships with IAATO as a way to achieve our aims.

GSGSSI’s Visitor Management Officer, Ross James, went on to deliver a presentation updating members on key events from the past season, which showed that yet again South Georgia received a record breaking number of visitors, and with the collaboration of visitors and expedition staff, managed to achieve an excellent standard of biosecurity, ensuring that visits were safe, responsible and environmentally sensitive. The presentation also hinted at some exciting future plans including the progress of the biosecurity detector dog programme, and work to assess key sites on South Georgia for future visitation. A full transcript of the presentation is available here.

The meetings were hugely positive, and the GSGSSI team were heartened to learn about some of the excellent work being undertaken by IAATO, operators and other stakeholders to further our collective understanding and stewardship of the region. One exciting example was a unanimous vote to introduce mandatory measures to help prevent whale strikes in cetacean-rich Antarctic waters.