A Royal Air Force Officer, Air Commodore John Cliffe, has been appointed to take over as Commander of British Forces in the Falkland Islands (CBFFI), in succession to Brigadier Geoff Sheldon, who returns to the United Kingdom this month.
According to a press release issued by Falklands Conservation in Stanley, a fire on South Jason Island which began after British Troops detonated unexploded cannon rounds which were found on two crashed Argentine Skyhawk aircraft, 'it is estimated that 90% of the 'tussac' grass which covers the Island has been lost, with the entire southern half of the Island badly affected by the fire'.
The Falkland Islands Government which has already benefited from a grant of 3.2 million euros (US$3.5 millions) from the European Union, can expect to receive another 3.0 million euros in development aid, which will be spread over a 5 years period.
The British Foreign Office Minister responsible for the Falklands Islands and relations with Argentina, Mr John Battle, is planning to make his first visit to the Islands in a few weeks time, either in February or March. He intends to combine it with a visit to Chile, travelling to the Falkland Islands by way of Santiago and Punta Arenas.
The legacy of the Falklands War of 1982 remains, and now some 19 years on a colony of rare ?Black Browed Albatross' (Diomedea melanophris) are almost certainly going to be lost through a fire which is raging on South Jason Island, which lies to the north west of the Falklands.
The most senior post in the Royal Navy has changed hands, with the promotion of Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh, 55, to be First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff . He succeeds Admiral Sir Michael Boyce,57, who takes over next month as Chief of Defence Staff, the professional head of all Britain's Armed Forces. He replaces General Sir Charles Guthrie, 61, who goes into retirement soon after returning from his Falkland visit.