UK Government funds landmine clearance work in Falkland Islands
The UK Government has committed £20m for a new phase of clearing thousands of landmines from the Falkland Islands.
Funding for the work will be jointly funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Ministry of Defence.
The demining work will involve clearing 46 minefields over the next two years, and carrying out surveys to prepare for the clearance of another 27.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Alan Duncan said: “I welcome the news that both residents and visitors to the Falkland Islands will soon be able to go safely into areas which have been out of bounds for decades. Landmines have been a long-lasting and unwanted legacy of the 1982 conflict and the UK continues to be committed to removing them.”
The project is in line with the UK’s obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, and will open up areas of the islands to residents and visitors.
The Convention sets out a worldwide approach to landmine removal, and requires the UK to clear all mined areas under its jurisdiction or control.
To date, more than 30 minefields have been cleared from the islands.
Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly Member Michael Poole said: “Falkland Islanders are grateful for the mine clearance work carried out by the UK Government in recent years.
"This work has opened up historically and valuable tracts of land which has been out of bounds since 1982.
“This further commitment by the UK to clearing more of the Falkland Islands of mines is a welcome move and we remain willing to assist practically and logistically where we can.”