PA Review: Advisory Group Considers Further Evidence and Advice to Government

(19th June 2018)

The latest stage of the Government’s first 5-year review of its sustainable use Marine Protected Area (MPA) took place this week with the second and final meeting of its Advisory Group.  The Advisory Group has been considering the development of scientific understanding of the South Georgia Maritime Zone since 2013, and the effectiveness of existing monitoring and management measures.  It will report in the coming weeks with its evidence-based advice for Government on how the monitoring and management of the existing MPA could be taken forward.

The Advisory Group incorporates representation from NGOs, the fishing industry, the tourism industry*, UK Government scientific advisers and an external reviewer (Dr Alistair Dunn, New Zealand).  The Group is independently chaired by Dr Colin Clubbe, Head of Conservation Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The work of the Advisory Group has already been informed by over 200 relevant, peer-reviewed scientific papers published since 2013, identified at a stakeholder workshop held in May 2017.  Following a recent call for evidence the Group commenced its meeting with an oral hearing involving four experts with experience of scientific research at South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Dr Andrew Fleming, British Antarctic Survey; Dr Tom Hart, University of Oxford; Dr Simeon Hill, British Antarctic Survey; Professor Alex Rogers, University of Oxford).  Updates relating to new and ongoing research taking place at South Georgia were also received by the group.

The Group is now tasked with finalising its advice to Government following which the Government will consult on any management changes to the MPA alongside the development of a research and monitoring plan.

*an IAATO representative was unable to attend this meeting.

 

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