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Pathway to Protection for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

News Item 2023

The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) has announced its intention to designate Terrestrial Protected Areas that will cover the entire landmass of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, through its Pathway to Protection programme.

The creation of Terrestrial Protected Areas (TPAs) complements the Marine Protected Area, which covers the whole 1.24 million km2 maritime zone and is an exemplar in delivering world-class protection, coupled with sustainable use. This is a model that works for nature and works for society. Bringing a similar rigour to the 3,800 km2 landmass marks an important step in consolidating existing protection measures and careful management and enshrining them in law.

Since 2021, GSGSSI has been working with a range of stakeholders, including JNCC, to deliver a management plan for the TPA and enhance the legal protection to the area.  At the heart of the Management Plan are the key overarching objectives of Conservation, protection and preservation of the ecosystem and restoration of biodiversity and that Activities carried out are managed sustainably with minimal impact on the ecosystem. An Advisory Group will inform the Government on the delivery of the management plan and will play a key role in the development of the associated Research and Monitoring Plan.

As part of JNCC’s technical assistance to GSGSSI we provide advice on albatross and petrel conservation to support implementation of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). These plans to develop terrestrial protected areas will not only make a significant contribution to GSGSSI’s aspirations for the conservation of native flora and fauna but also contribute to achieving ACAP objectives.

JNCC’s Dr Megan Tierney said:

"It has been a privilege for JNCC to be part of the TPA Advisory Group and input to the new SGSSI TPA Management Plan, which reflects the commitment made by the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) to protect its unique habitats and species. The plan will help to ensure these islands have the right protection in place to conserve their incredible biodiversity. As part of JNCC’s commitment to working with our nature-rich UK Overseas Territories, we are looking forward to working with GSGSSI to deliver and implement the next phase of the plan."

For more information, visit the website of the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands.

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