Commissioner Depart For Visit To South Georgia

(Media Release – 5th March 2018)

The Commissioner for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, His Excellency Nigel Phillips CBE, today departs for a 12-day visit to this UK Overseas Territory accompanied by representatives of some of South Georgia’s key stakeholder organisations.

The visit takes place on board the Government’s logistics and fishery patrol vessel MV Pharos SG and will take in South Georgia natural and cultural heritage including recent projects to protect and enhance it. It will also offer a chance to share views and experiences on emerging challenges and opportunities facing South Georgia and the broader sub-Antarctic including climate change and visitor management. In addition to landings at some of South Georgia’s key wildlife sites, the visit will include the whaling stations at Grytviken and Stromness Bay, and the cultural heritage associated with Sir Ernest Shackleton and his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition that concluded with the rescue of his men from Elephant Island a century ago.

Joining the Commissioner are representatives from a variety of stakeholders including the Falkland Islands Government, UK Parliament, British Antarctic Survey, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, as well as the Rector of South Georgia.

During the visit the participants witness first hand the work of the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and its partners on the ground. Participants will have the opportunity to consider some key themes which are priorities for the Territory including; environmental management, albatross conservation, marine protected areas and fisheries management, visitor management and climate change.

South Georgia sustains globally significant levels of biodiversity including major populations of marine mammals and seabirds, an attraction to over 8000 visitors who travel to this remote territory each year. Significant investment has recently been made to enhance and restore South Georgia’s native wildlife including through the world’s largest rodent eradication programme led by the South Georgia Heritage Trust and the Government’s designation of one of the largest sustainable use Marine Protected Areas in the world.

The visit seeks to generate increased awareness of the management challenges and opportunities facing our natural and cultural heritage and an opportunity to share experiences and build collaborative partnerships.

To get updates during the visit, follow GSGSSI on Twitter on @GovSGSSI.