From South Georgia Website
During 2010 GSGSSI and the FCO Polar Regions have developed strategy documents that outline key objectives and responsibilities for the next 5 years for South Georgia.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is one of the UK’s most remote and environmentally pristine Overseas Territories, the strategies will help ensure the long term security and good governance of the islands and help protect their rich natural environment and unique biodiversity. It will underpin the sustainable management of the islands’ fishery and also help conserve its heritage as a previous staging post for whaling and Antarctic discovery.
The GSGSSI Strategic objectives are:
- To manage the affairs of SGSSI and the surrounding 200 nautical mile Maritime Zone, through good, efficient and effective government
- To conserve the relatively pristine nature of the Territory’s environment, preserving and, where practicable, restoring the native biodiversity and habitats
- To provide safe and sustainable management of SGSSI fisheries to ensure minimal impact on non-target species and habitats, including engaging in CCAMLR
- To manage tourism in a way that has minimum impact on the SGSSI environment but optimises the income to the Territory and contributes to the overall regional management of commercial tourism
- To preserve where practicable, the unique industrial heritage of South Georgia either in situ or through transfer to museums
- To encourage high quality scientific research to underpin GSGSSI management of the Territories
- To manage government finances prudently and, where possible, to diversify the Territory’s revenue streams, which are heavily dependent on income from fishing licences
- To maintain the inhabited facilities at King Edward Point and Grytviken to a reasonable and environmentally friendly standard
- To improve public awareness of South Georgia issues by effective and economic dissemination of information
The full South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands Strategy 2010-2015 document can be downloaded here [pdf, 0.44mb].
The FCO documents outlines the UK Government's policy on the SGSSIs over the next five years and has been developed in conjunction with GSGSSI to complement GSGSSI five-year strategy.
The UK Governments’ Headline Objectives, which underpin the security and good governance of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are as follows:
- To ensure the security of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands through a continual British presence, which supports GSGSSI’s implementation and enforcement of the rule of law;
- To promote British Sovereignty over SGSSI and increase awareness of the UK’s current and historical interests in the Territory, both within the UK and internationally, and help maintain UK influence within the region;
- To uphold the UK’s leading role within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in contributing to the effective conservation of the Southern Ocean, including to underpin and protect the sustainable management of the SGSSI fishery;
- To work with GSGSSI to ensure sound financial and risk management and economic policies which contribute to the long-term financial self-sufficiency of the Territory, and minimise contingent liabilities;
- To support GSGSSI’s environmental stewardship of the Territory, including through tough environmental and biodiversity protection measures, effective fishery and tourism management; and, where feasible, the eradication of non-native species to restore the natural habitat of South Georgia.
The full FCO strategy document can be downloaded here [pdf, 0.13mb].
Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, has commented that, “The publication of this strategy is an important step in ensuring the future security of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and illustrates the importance the Government attaches to our Overseas Territories. It sets out our priorities for action over the next five years and in particular highlights the environmental value of the islands which are internationally recognised for their biological importance.”