The new five-year Strategy for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands 2016-2020 was published on 27th November. The Strategy sets out an ambitious agenda to deliver the highest standards of environmental stewardship and governance for the British Overseas Territory, according to the latest South Georgia Newsletter.
The Strategy has been developed in close consultation with organizations and individuals who share a common interest in better understanding, protecting and enjoying South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands.
Over the next 5 years, the Strategy commits the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, supported by the UK Government, to:
• further enhance environmental protection, through revising the Marine Protected Area Management Plan, designating new terrestrial protected areas and strengthening bio-security;
• strengthen stakeholder engagement and outreach, and enact new legislation for the better governance of the Territory;
• further increase standards and sustainability in the fishery – already Marine Stewardship Council certified as among the best managed in the world;
• look at the way tourists and other visitors experience the Territory to better support safe, sustainable and environmentally sensitive visits; and
• adopt a new approach to better conserve South Georgia’s heritage.
Minister for the Overseas Territories and Polar Regions, James Duddridge said: “South Georgia is a true jewel in the Southern Ocean – an incredibly rich and diverse natural environment – where wildlife flourishes like nowhere else. So I am delighted that this new Strategy, owned by both the UK and the South Georgia Government, sets out such an ambitious vision to ensure that the Territory continues to live up to its deserved reputation as one of the most environmentally responsibly managed places in the world.”
Colin Roberts CVO, Commissioner for SGSSI said: “This new Strategy sets out an ambitious vision – to establish South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands as a world leader in environmental management, with the highest standards of governance. It has been based on extensive stakeholder engagement and I invite all those who share our desire better to understand, protect and enjoy this exceptional Territory to work with us in taking the Strategy forward.”
James Jansen, CEO said “This new Strategy marks the beginning of a 5-year program of work that will build on and further develop the sustainable management of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and help to safeguard its future, not least in the face of uncertainties about environmental change. It is an undertaking that Government alone cannot deliver. I look forward to working closely with our many stakeholders to deliver this Strategy in the years ahead.”
The new Strategy can be found at: www.gov.gs/information/south-georgia-strategy/