Following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, who first visited the Islands in 1833, the first ever Pan–American Science Delegation to the Falkland Islands arrived in Stanley yesterday. The week-long mission will bring together eminent researchers and nature journalists to showcase the beauty of the UK South Atlantic Overseas Territories and immense opportunities for scientific research and collaboration in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.
The Falkland Islands are a unique environment and comprise of two marine ecosystems, host the world’s largest albatross colonies and five species of penguin. They also have extensive natural peat and ice archives for studying historical distributions of animals and plants.
Scientists from the US, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Columbia will have the opportunity to form partnerships and collaborate with the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) with the aim of establishing the Falklands and the wider South Atlantic as a place for groundbreaking scientific research. A journalist from National Geographic and a TV crew from Uruguay will document life on these largely unexplored Islands.
Member of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly with responsibility for the environment, Michael Poole said:
The Falkland Islands Government looks forward to welcoming this distinguished group of scientists to the Islands and to collaborating on regionally and internationally important environmental research. What goes on in the South Atlantic environment impacts on and is impacted by the rest of the world. This symposium will help us formalise further scientific partnerships to ensure we even better understand those important links.
You can follow the delegation on Twitter at #FalklandSci or the FCO Partners in Science Blog. An image of the Islands will be posted daily on Instagram and Facebook.