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Terrestrial science

There is still much to learn about most South Atlantic terrestrial species and ecosystems. As a result, there is a need to establish baselines rapidly if we are going to be able to monitor and predict the effects of anthropogenic activities and pollution on these ecosystems, including from climate change. This will inform best-practice management and help local populations to adapt to environmental changes.

Aim: We will develop and strengthen the knowledge of the terrestrial environment, its biodiversity, ecosystems and the interconnectivity between terrestrial and marine environments of the South Atlantic.

Over the next 5 years, we will establish research programmes to:

  • Establish terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem baselines for all of the UK’s South Atlantic Overseas Territories where required, promoting research into freshwater ecosystems, soil microbial diversity, the merits of continued long term monitoring, and links between terrestrial and marine environments;
  • Work collaboratively with local Governments and stakeholders on ecosystem assessments and valuing ecosystem goods and services for all of the UK’s South Atlantic Overseas Territories starting with the Falklands;
  • Collaborate with local Governments to address the locally-identified terrestrial research requirements; and
  • Develop collaborative projects with international institutions on blue skies terrestrial science with high international impacts.



Coastal Mapping project

  • Defra funded through Darwin+
  • Habitat maps of Falkland Islands
  • Habitat maps of South Georgia
  • International collaboration

BEST 2.0




  • Biodiversity conservation & sustainable development in EU OCTs
  • Co-ordination of SAOT projects
  • Ascension, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Falkland Islands projects

Natural Capital Assessment

  • Spatial data on the distribution of selected natural capital assets
  • Valuation of priority natural capital assets
  • Tools to support decision-making with environmental management and economic development
  • Methods for monitoring changes to priority natural capital over time

Falklands Wetlands and Aquatic Habitats

  • Identifying gaps in baseline data
  • Filling the gaps in baseline data
  • Producing action plans and defining indicators