Press release

British Antarctic Territory: Strategic Project Funding 2014

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Examples of projects funded by the British Antarctic Territory in 2014

Example of Wildlife Awareness Map produced by ERA

Sea ice, Shackleton and Science: a century of changes in Antarctica

The British Antarctic Territory Government have contributed funding to three public engagement events at venues around the UK, focusing on polar science and Britain’s role in Antarctica linked to the centenary of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition.

The first of these events took place at the Dundee Science Centre in September 2014. Visitors had the opportunity to learn about the Polar Regions using large interactive puzzles provided by the International Polar Foundation. The route of Shackleton’s ship Endurance could be seen on the puzzle as well as where the ship was crushed during the 1914-16 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

Visitors could also try on the type of clothing worn by the expedition and also modern polar clothing. There was also a -15˚ cold room where visitors could experience what conditions would have been like for expedition members.

A full report of the event can be found on the International Polar Foundation’s website

Dates and venues for forthcoming events:

  • Birmingham Thinktank: 24-26 April 2015 – open to schools on Friday and to the public on Saturday and Sunday
  • At-Bristol Science Centre: 28-30 May 2015 – open to the public each day

Delivering actions under the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP)

An ACAP coordination project including the establishment of a co-ordinator post has been funded by the UK and a number of Overseas Territories government organisations, including the British Antarctic Territory. Work has been focused on monitoring the status and trends of populations, management of threats at breeding sites and improving education and awareness of seabird conservation issues.

The funding provided by the British Antarctic Territory seeks to ensure an effective and co-ordinated approach to meeting the commitments of ACAP. The project has facilitated better co-ordination of activities and reporting and also better co-operation with other key countries in pursuing cross-boundary conservation issues.

The ACAP’s eighth Advisory Committee was held in September 2014 and the project co-ordinator facilitated the involvement of all the relevant government officials by providing summaries of all the meeting papers, highlighting relevant issues and drafting a UK briefing paper covering all agenda items in advance of the meeting. The coordinator also served as a member of the Population and Conservation Status Working Group and was an observer at the Seabird Bycatch Working Group. Work has begun in preparation for the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MoP5) which will be held in May 2015.

Detailed activity for the next three years can be found on the JNCC website

Wildlife Awareness Mapsheet Series

Earlier this year the British Antarctic Territory contributed funds towards the production of a set of up-to-date maps showing known wildlife colonies, protected areas and infrastructure across the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands.

The maps have been produced by Environmental Research & Assessment (ERA) with the objective of showing Antarctic wildlife to assist task planning onboard the ice patrol vessel HMS Protector, as well as other interested stakeholders. The maps are scaled at 1:250,000 which is consistent with the Wildlife Awareness Manual, used already by aircraft.

An example of one of the maps is illustrated in the adjacent diagram.

Work on the maps began in July and draft versions were provided to stakeholders and HMS Protector in September 2014 ahead of her journey south this season.

Delivery By Design

The Delivery By Design exhibition opened at The Polar Museum on Thursday 12 June 2014 and ran until 6 September. The purpose of the exhibition was to explore the history of stamps used in the British Antarctic Territory since 1883 through to the present day. A collection of printing proofs, stamps and original artwork were put on display for members of the public to enjoy free of charge. The British Antarctic Territory Government contributed towards the cost of the exhibition which helped fund display some of the new collection of artworks alongside their own collection.

The new collections highlighted wildlife, native flora and fauna and commemorated British expeditions to Antarctica in the pursuit of science.

For more information on The Polar Museum visit www.spri.cam.ac.uk/museum

Published 17 February 2015