Photos: Falklands concerned for biodiversity as Brexit approaches

Falkland Islands (Malvinas), a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean has an incredibly rich biodiversity including more than 25 species of whales and dolphins, but it is the guaranteed ability to get up close and personal with penguins that makes it such an enticing destination. There are five penguin species in the archipelago -- King, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Magellanic and Macaroni. And while Boris Johnson's government and the EU squabble over Brexit, conservationists in the Falklands are anxiously following events as the archipelago runs the risk of losing significant EU funding and a market for exports.

Updated On Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST
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A Gentoo penguin is seen at Volunteer Point, north of Stanley in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. It may be a remote archipelago 13,000 kilometres from mainland Britain but the Falkland Islands’ incredible biodiversity, as well as fishing and meat exports, are under threat from Brexit. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

A Gentoo penguin is seen at Volunteer Point, north of Stanley in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. It may be a remote archipelago 13,000 kilometres from mainland Britain but the Falkland Islands’ incredible biodiversity, as well as fishing and meat exports, are under threat from Brexit. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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Magellanic penguins seen at Volunteer Point. The Falklands has an incredibly rich biodiversity including more than 25 species of whales and dolphins, but it is the guaranteed ability to get up close and personal with penguins that makes it such an enticing destination. There are five penguin species in the archipelago -- King, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Magellanic and Macaroni. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

Magellanic penguins seen at Volunteer Point. The Falklands has an incredibly rich biodiversity including more than 25 species of whales and dolphins, but it is the guaranteed ability to get up close and personal with penguins that makes it such an enticing destination. There are five penguin species in the archipelago -- King, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Magellanic and Macaroni. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government and the European Union squabble over Brexit, conservationists in the Falklands -- a British overseas territory of 3,400 inhabitants -- are anxiously following events as they run the risk of losing significant EU funding. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government and the European Union squabble over Brexit, conservationists in the Falklands -- a British overseas territory of 3,400 inhabitants -- are anxiously following events as they run the risk of losing significant EU funding. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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Esther Bertram, who leads the Falklands Conservation NGO, says Britain must take responsibility for the wildlife in its overseas territories. “We have endangered sei whales visiting here; we have the largest populations of a whole range of species: black-browed albatrosses, we have five (species of) penguins that you can trip over, we have elephant seals sprawling; it’s a phenomenal natural environment.” (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

Esther Bertram, who leads the Falklands Conservation NGO, says Britain must take responsibility for the wildlife in its overseas territories. “We have endangered sei whales visiting here; we have the largest populations of a whole range of species: black-browed albatrosses, we have five (species of) penguins that you can trip over, we have elephant seals sprawling; it’s a phenomenal natural environment.” (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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The windswept British outpost in the South Atlantic has received 600,000 euros ($660,000) in funding from the EU’s Biodiversity Ecosystems Services in Territories of European overseas (BEST). Some 90% of the UK’s biodiversity is found in overseas territories, according to the Falklands government. Bertram wants to know how that financing shortfall will be made up after October 31, Johnson’s deadline for leading Britain out of the bloc. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

The windswept British outpost in the South Atlantic has received 600,000 euros ($660,000) in funding from the EU’s Biodiversity Ecosystems Services in Territories of European overseas (BEST). Some 90% of the UK’s biodiversity is found in overseas territories, according to the Falklands government. Bertram wants to know how that financing shortfall will be made up after October 31, Johnson’s deadline for leading Britain out of the bloc. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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A Rockhopper penguin at Kidney Island, north of Stanley. The Falklands’ two main exports -- fishing and meat -- could be adversely affected by a “No Deal” Brexit or even a bad deal, says Leona Roberts, a member of the Falklands’s eight-strong legislative assembly. Fishing accounted for 43% of the Falklands GDP from 2007-16 and nearly all its exports in 2018 went to the EU. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

A Rockhopper penguin at Kidney Island, north of Stanley. The Falklands’ two main exports -- fishing and meat -- could be adversely affected by a “No Deal” Brexit or even a bad deal, says Leona Roberts, a member of the Falklands’s eight-strong legislative assembly. Fishing accounted for 43% of the Falklands GDP from 2007-16 and nearly all its exports in 2018 went to the EU. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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As a British overseas territory, the Falkland Islanders did not get to vote in the Brexit referendum. The islands are not even part of the UK -- and hence not part of the EU -- but as an overseas territory they benefit from the customs union. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

As a British overseas territory, the Falkland Islanders did not get to vote in the Brexit referendum. The islands are not even part of the UK -- and hence not part of the EU -- but as an overseas territory they benefit from the customs union. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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Gabi McRae, a Chilean who works in quality control at the Falkland Islands Meat Company, has already noticed the effect of a weakening pound.”In the first few years when I did the exchange, one pound was equal to 1,000 Chilean pesos. Now it’s just 600-700,” said the 31-year-old. Roberts, though, feels that whatever happens, the islanders’ “natural sort of pragmatism and sense of spirit” will help them find a way to survive. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)
Updated on Oct 17, 2019 11:43 AM IST

Gabi McRae, a Chilean who works in quality control at the Falkland Islands Meat Company, has already noticed the effect of a weakening pound.”In the first few years when I did the exchange, one pound was equal to 1,000 Chilean pesos. Now it’s just 600-700,” said the 31-year-old. Roberts, though, feels that whatever happens, the islanders’ “natural sort of pragmatism and sense of spirit” will help them find a way to survive. (Porciuncula Brune / AFP)

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