The 2018 St Helena Conference took place over a 2 week period 29th January to 8th February

Full conference days were 29th, 30th and 31st January and 5th and 6th of February, and was hosted at Anne’s Place in the Castle Gardens of Jamestown.

Conference field trips ran on the 1st, 2nd, 7th and 8th of February.


29 January 2018 – People and Economics

St Helena as a ‘laboratory of modernity’: Mary Ann George and the making of racial selves and racialized Others in 19th St Helena

Keynote Speaker: Professor Daniel Yon

Affiliation: York University

Drawing on the idea of the colony as a ‘laboratory of modernity’ (Stoler and Cooper, 1997) my paper starts with the story of one Mary Ann George who, in 1897, was sent from the island to be displayed in Hamburg, Germany, as a native ‘specimen’ of St Helena. The derision and disgust, that was provoked by her departure in the local press, had nothing to do the ethics and morality of the 19th century ‘scientific’ practice of human displays, but with how this ‘African’ could possibly be conceived as an island ‘native’.  I demonstrate how ‘the laboratory of modernity’ was a place wherein ideas of science and aesthetic sensibilities are collapsed, specifically as played out on St Helena and in the emergent 19th century ‘science’ of race. I speculate on how the story of Mary Ann George opens up a conversation about the rise of racial consciousness and the discursive making of a 19th century St Helena identity. In discerning some of the threads of this development, I pay particular attention to the ‘spectacle’ of race that, I argue, is traceable to the period when the Vice Admiralty Court for the Suppression of the Slave Trade was established on St Helena and when ‘liberated Africans’ were captured on the high seas and brought to the island in their hundreds.


Tourists marching in, Saints flying out? The social and economical impact of air access

Speakers: Dr Daniel van Middelkoop and Dr Maarten Hogenstijn

Affiliation: Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

What impact can be expected when a remote island’s accessibility is improved by the provision of air access? We start by presenting a summary of the expectations concerning air access we encountered among Saints while doing research on-island in 2002. We then present some examples of the impact that provision of air access has had in other remote places around the globe. Finally, we present our thoughts on the impact that Saint Helena can expect and open the floor for discussion on opportunities and possible threats, and how to deal with these.


The Model Island

Keynote Speaker: Professor Steve Royle

Affiliation: Queens Belfast University

The feature common to islands is that they are bodies of land surrounded by water. This geographical boundedness brings in train a number of shared issues that affect all islands, though modified by scale, location and resource availability. These issues encompass problems – the word ‘insularity’ conveys negative qualities of being inward-looking and St Helena was described by Darwin as a ‘little world within itself’. But there are also opportunities; small islands, including St Helena, have often played a significant role in the wider world. Being small and very remote St Helena exemplifies island issues and this paper will discuss how far it might be regarded as a ‘model island’.


Transnational Villagers: Perspectives of home

Keynote Speaker: Dr Cilla McDaniel

Affiliation: University of East Anglia

This paper is set in St Helena, the home of its transnational villagers. ‘Home’, is explored as the multifaceted phenomenon where St Helenians live and work in one place and despite distance and time, their hearts remain in the place of birth. The rhetoric and the reality of the home that is yearned for is examined through self-reflectivity and the personal journey of a transnational villager who has left but was also left behind and having lived ‘here’ and ‘there’. A snapshot of some of the prominently ‘felt’ sociological and psychological perspectives of ‘home’ in this time of growth and change is presented in celebration of the great and good that is often overlooked.


Responses to Economic Shocks on Small, Remote Islands: Implications for the St Helena Economic Shock of 2016

Speaker: Kirsty Joshua

Affiliation: Enterprise St Helena

Economic shocks occur the world over and take a variety of forms. Humanity constantly experiences and endures economic shocks. Despite occurring constantly, it is increasingly challenging for communities and governments to decide how to act in response. Furthermore, on a small remote island, when an economic shock occurs it can be catastrophic to the economy and the existence of its people.

In the case of St Helena, air access was promised over a decade ago as a way to boost economic growth through tourism and sustainable development. Air access is seen as the catalyst for ‘a last remaining hope’ for St Helena and to end social and economic decline. However, on completion of the (already delayed) airport in 2016 unforeseen challenges meant plans and assumptions for commercial operations were postponed and eventually changed.

Through my MBA dissertation at Durham University Business School I investigated the question of how small remote islands around the world respond to economic shocks and the factors behind successful and less successful responses. From an initial sample of 76 islands, 25 of which have experienced a significant economic shock in the last 25 years, I identify 19 economic shocks on other small remote islands. From these responses, I draw implications in terms of success factors, elements of a successful response and lessons for St Helena. For the responses that had successful outcomes, the common themes are identified. The findings are linked to the case of St Helena with recommendations for policy. St Helena and its stakeholders along with other similar islands, can utilise the findings of this research.


Balance between preservation and progress

Speaker: Jeremy Harris

Affiliation: St Helena National Trust

Why do we preserve what we do? What is the point of saving an insect that hardly anyone will ever see? Does a building have value just because it is old? These are questions that the St Helena National Trust must consider on a daily basis. In this short talk, Jeremy Harris will draw on more than 15 years in decision making roles in the conservation world to identify some guiding principles when working out how to move forward in this complex environment.


30 January 2018 – Marine and Fisheries

The Fisheries of St Helena

Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Clingham

Affiliation: St. Helena Fisheries Corporation

The fishing industry of St. Helena has evolved considerably since the late 1970’s. Fishing forms an important source of food to the island of St Helena, and offers one of the very few opportunities for generation of export revenues to the islands economy. Most fishing methods are pole and line, rods and line, supplemented by trolling and line fishing conducted from both small inshore and large offshore vessels.

The industry is subsided by the St. Helena Government but it still struggles to be profitable predominately due to the dynamics of a small island and the associated high operational costs of a fish processing factory that is currently oversized relative to industry throughput.   St. Helena over the years has strived to increase fish throughput through various initiatives however, there has really been no significant or lasting increase in throughput largely due to the fact that the price paid to fisherman for their efforts are too low.

New avenues of exploration are now available to facilitate product value increase. Sustainability is an increasing key factor in consumer seafood purchasing decisions.  St. Helena’s declaration of the sustainable use MPA, coupled with the predominantly pole & line nature of capture, may present an opportunity for St Helena to access niche markets and obtain a better price for St Helena’s fish.   This coupled with the potential to export fresh fish weekly via our air cargo services will present new avenues for exploration that were previously not available.  Low catch volume may limit opportunities or it may create an opportunity for the development of the St. Helena Brand creating exclusivity supporting the “quality over quantity” narrative underpinned by proof of sustainability.


St Helena one-by-one

Speakers: Adam Baske and Julie Thomas

Affiliation: International Pole and Line Foundation

For centuries St Helena Island have commercially fished using the most sustainable method – one-by-one fishing.  Although to date very few products have been exported, fish has predominately been the islands Number 1 export for many years; albeit in its frozen state due to restrictive transportation. This is set to change however, as the island now has the opportunity to explore new and improved markets for fresh fish exports with the opening of its airport in late 2017.

IPNLF have been working with key stakeholders within the fisheries sector for just over a year to better understand the traditional practices, the opportunities, the drawbacks, the strengths and the weaknesses with the aim to assist in five major areas Policy & Regulations; Science; Combatting IUU/Fishery Monitoring; Traceability and Communications.  To ensure that St Helena’s fishery receives the attention it deserves internationally for the effort they have made over the years to sustainably manage their fishery for the enjoyment of future generations, whilst making a significant contribution to the economic development of St Helena in its entirety.


The whale sharks of St Helena in a global context

Keynote Speaker: Dr Alistair Dove

Affiliation: Georgia Aquarium

St. Helena plays home to one of the rarest of all marine biology phenomena, an aggregation of whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. Evidence is growing that whale sharks come to St. Helena as part of their reproductive cycle, which makes the island completely unique in the world.   What is the significance of this seasonal event, and how does St. Helena fit into a complex International tapestry of biology, conservation threats, and international maritime governance?   Some of these questions will take scientists and conservationists some time to answer, but what is clear is that St. Helena is in a tremendous position to provide leadership in the protection of whale shark populations at what may be one of the most critical parts of their life history. Even with flights commencing, however, the remoteness of the island remains a significant impediment for visiting scientists, so the residents of St. Helena should be ever vigilant to gather scientific evidence about what the sharks are doing while they are at the island; there is tremendous citizen science potential here.  At the same time, the capacity of the island to develop an ecotourism industry for whale sharks using the world’s best practices, put in place from day one, is another opportunity to provide world-class leadership, and one which I hope the Islanders will take to heart.   If they do, a reliable seasonal whale shark aggregation could easily become a jewel of the tourism crown in St. Helena for generations to come.


Science in support of sustainable fisheries

Speaker: Professor Martin Collins, OBE

Affiliation: Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences

A sustainable fishery is one that can be maintained in the long-term without reducing the targeted species’ ability to maintain its population at healthy levels, and without adversely impacting on other species within the ecosystem. Science is essential to determine the quantities of target species that can be sustainably harvested and to understand the impacts on other species in the ecosystem.  In 2015 St Helena established a fisheries science programme under a Darwin Plus project, which focussed on tuna and has collected valuable data on tuna populations and on movements and habitat use. That programme has been maintained by SHG, with additional support from the UK Blue Belt programme and from a further Darwin Plus award.


Marine Research on St Helena

Speaker: Annalea Beard

Affiliation: St Helena Environment and Natural Resources Directorate

In 2016 a 200 nautical mile Maritime Zone was designated as an IUCN category VI sustainable use Marine Protected Area (MPA) around St Helena. The UK government pledged £20 million to help implement, manage, surveillance and enforcement of the MPA’s in UK Overseas Territories. Since then a number of research and monitoring initiatives have been established thanks to the Blue Belt Programme. This presentation will discuss how this research fits in with the Marine Management Plan (MMP) with a focus on the past and present marine research programmes at St Helena and discuss future research opportunities and collaborations.


31 January 2018 – Renewables and Terrestrial Environment

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas (BEST)

Speaker: Dani Biagorri

Affiliation: South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute

The BEST 2.0 Programme is a funding facility, supported by the European Commission as part of the EU Biodiversity for Life (B4Life) flagship.

It aims to support the objectives of the BEST Initiative by facilitating the continuation of important environmental and conservation work providing grant funding for small-scale and medium-scale field actions on the ground for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)

SAERI is in charge of coordinating the BEST 2.0 project for the South Atlantic Overseas Territories (OTs) and cover the following areas: Ascension Island, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and the Falkland Islands

There are a number of exciting projects that have been funded across the region, and this presentation will give you a flavour of the breadth and depth of these and examples of the research outputs such as: ‘developing a site-based conservation approach for sei whales, Balaenoptera borealis, at Berkeley Sound’; ‘forest Restoration and Improved Biosecurity on Nightingale Island’; ‘An ecological assessment of Ascension Island’s shallow-water seamounts as candidate Marine Protected Areas’.

It is also anticipated that as part of this presentation, some of the St. Helena Best 2.0 project managers will give short presentations on their work.


Renewables on St Helena

Speaker: Barry Hubbard

Affiliation: Connect Saint Helena

A presentation on St Helena’s ‘renewable journey’ touching on the difficulties of originally introducing new technology to one of the most difficult and costly places on the globe to access and how the construction activities associated with the airport have created enabling opportunities. Barry explains how the original bad news story has come good, how with the assistance of the UK the island enjoys a healthy proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources.  He describes how Connect Saint Helena and St Helena Government are working together as the island progresses to the next phase of renewable energy investment.


Lost and found on St Helena Island: Environmental monitoring on the St Helena Airport Project

Speakers: Bryony Walmsley, Annina Hayes and Kirsten Pritchard

Affiliation: Basil Read and Landscape and Ecology Management Plan (LEMP)

The St Helena Airport Project presented many opportunities for potential environmental damage and therefore a comprehensive environmental management and monitoring programme was put in place to ensure that endangered and endemic species would not be lost. In addition there were a number of historical and archaeological features at risk, particularly in Rupert’s valley which needed to be closely monitored and protected.

This paper will highlight just four of the many aspects that were managed and monitored during the construction phase of the project and some interesting findings. At the start of construction, there were fears that a significant proportion of the global population of the endemic Wirebird would be lost, but on the contrary, due to a concerted effort from the construction team in association with the St Helena National Trust, the Wirebird numbers have actually increased.  The little-known mole spider became the subject of detailed monitoring and a significant amount of information was amassed about this enigmatic species during the construction period.  Another aspect that was of concern was the impact of the project on St Helena’s endemic plants and so a comprehensive Landscape and Ecology Management Plan (LEMP) was put in place to rehabilitate all areas disturbed by temporary works and to offset areas lost to permanent infrastructure.  A variety of activities such as seed collection, plant propagation, plant rescue, ‘topsoil’ storage and replacement, installation of irrigation and rabbit-proof fences have typified the LEMP initiative and vast tracts of land have been replanted with native plants, supported by ongoing monitoring, watering and invasive plant removal.  The fourth aspect to be highlighted will be an account of the archaeological findings in Rupert’s Valley.


Emerging Saint science and scientists

Speaker: Stephen Coates

Affiliation: Prince Andrew School, St Helena

Saint Helena and the ‘Saints’ who live here are unique in their attitudes and interactions with the environment. Scientific developments and innovations have been utilised here much later and less liberally than many parts of the world for a multitude of reasons. Levels of education have also had to play catch up accordingly and it is a testament to the resilience and fortitude of Saint people that they have coped and thrived during such accelerated times of change. In a Paper titled “Education and attitudes towards the environment”, which was commissioned for the Education For All Global Monitoring Report 2013/4, (Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all) researchers concluded that: “Education levels, in the majority of instances, are linked with levels of environmental concern, even when a range of individual characteristics, likely to be associated with education levels, are controlled for”

With such a close relationship to the land, and particularly the Ocean, Saints have developed a healthy environmental conscience regardless of educational level; knowing too well that they must respect the environment that provides much of what they need. However, as our knowledge of our environment changes and increases, so sometimes must our behaviour and attitudes change and this can create problems. For this reason I am encouraging my Marine Science and Biology students to address the conference regarding what they think is most important for the Island environmentally and how this can be achieved. We will also attempt to summarise how attitudes differ across generation gaps and how these can potentially be overcome by utilising education.


The carbon sequestration potential of Commidendrum robustum Roxb. (DC.) within the Millennium Forest restoration site, St Helena Island

Speaker: Shayla Ellick

Affiliation: St Helena Environment and Natural Resources Directorate

The drastic increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) (particularly carbon dioxide CO2) into the atmosphere is causing climate change around the world. Tropical forests are considered to be significant sinks of carbon, but are subject to widespread degradation and deforestation. Restoring and conserving tropical forests as a form of climate change mitigation, through the creation of off-setting schemes, can increase rates of carbon sequestration. Islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change, though they contribute relatively little to the world’s GHG emissions. St Helena Island, a UK Territory with a high rate of endemism in the South Atlantic Ocean, produces an estimated 11,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. St Helena’s native forests were decimated following the island’s discovery in 1502 and only fragments remain.

A restoration project, ‘the Millennium Forest’, restoring endemic Commidendrum robustum Roxb. (DC.) woodland to the degraded Crown Wastes area is managed by the St Helena National Trust (SHNT). SHNT hope to use the site as the basis for a carbon off-setting scheme to mitigate CO2 emissions from the island’s new airport (expected to open in early 2016). This study found that C. robustum biomass and its associated carbon pools increased carbon stocks within the Crown Wastes area by approximately 52.5 ± 12.20 tonnes over 15 years. pH was found to be highly correlated with the carbon estimates. Estimated carbon stocks within five terrestrial carbon pools within the Millennium Forest restoration site were: aboveground live carbon 52.15 ± 12.25 tonnes; litter carbon 4.9 ± 2.45 kg carbon; deadwood carbon 397.95 ± 42 kg; belowground carbon 37.8 ± 2.1 kg; and soil organic carbon 297.5 ± 23.1 tonnes. These results and the level of monitoring, reporting and verifying required by international carbon off-setting schemes make a locally established- and run- scheme more financially viable for the island.


05 February 2018 – Terrestrial Flora and Fauna

Species extinction on islands: canaries in the coalmine

Keynote Speaker: Professor Quentin Cronk

Affiliation: University of British Columbia

Species are more prone to extinction on islands than on continents. This is due mainly to small population sizes and limited island geographical ranges coupled with often severe environmental impacts of human induced change on islands. This talk will introduce some of the key concepts concerning island extinction, and, with reference to the plants of St Helena, illustrate the nature of island extinction, in the past and in the future. A detailed understanding of extinction processes is necessary to minimise it. Furthermore, insights from extinction on islands, where extinction processes are sometimes well advanced, may be able to help mitigate the same processes where they are developing in continental systems.


Invasive pests and diseases – biosecurity breaches from a veterinary perspective. Keeping the outside world out yet letting it in

Speaker: Dr Joe Hollins MRCVS

Affiliation: Department of Agriculture Tristan da Cunha & ANRD St Helena.

Remote islands such as St Helena and Tristan da Cunha have the best protective borders in the world, 1,500 miles of ocean, but they are only as good as our biosecurity protocols. Ships – and now planes – bridge that safety barrier, and with the coming of the airport even the quarantine effect of a long voyage has been lost. Setting aside the public health aspect of visitors arriving while incubating contagious diseases and introducing pathogens to a susceptible population, there are a host of other issues: invasive pests and diseases that damage agriculture and the environment. It is a fact that pests and diseases are spreading around the world, largely owing to the increased mobility of people, animals and animal products, both legal and illegal. In an increasingly dirty world this is not a matter of maintaining the status quo, but dealing with a rising threat, and St Helena with her classic sub-tropical incubator climate is especially susceptible.

Before the word biosecurity was ever coined, let alone understood, there was free movement of animals and food products into St Helena from around the world. Many incursions have already taken place. This talk looks at the established pests and diseases of veterinary significance and how we deal with them, some recent breakdowns in biosecurity despite our best efforts, but also measures we have taken to further protect the island, with brief references to Tristan da Cunha. There are many aspects: protection of the island’s almost uniquely disease-free bees, pre-border veterinary health certification of live animals and certain animal products such as semen and hatching eggs, post-border monitoring and surveillance of livestock for disease breakdown, and dealing with the existing established invasives, among them African ticks – superlative vectors for disease, the lethal Barber’s Pole roundworm, and toxic plants such as lantana. The two epidemics of recent years, both in poultry, one probably already endemic in rodent reservoirs, the other introduced, were good lessons in avoiding complacency and resulted in amendments to legislation. The airport raises further issues, in particular the accidental introduction of disease vectors such as the Anopheles mosquito.


St Helena: A Living Laboratory for Green Energy

Speakers: Jason Yon and Samuel Williamson

Affiliation: University of Bristol

St Helena has set an ambitious target to have 100% of its electrical power supplied through renewable, locally-generated sources by 2022. This presents large challenges, but brings exciting potential as well, and will brand St Helena as a champion of sustainability.  In the long-term however, the picture will become much broader. Within the next decade, societies across the world will need to extend ‘the energy question’ beyond renewable electricity generation to a holistic assessment of our energy needs for transport, heating, cooking and industrial processes as well. A broad assessment of energy also presents challenges and opportunities in other aspects of a countries infrastructure, for example, the supply and storage of water. If St Helena faces this bigger challenge with the same degree of ambition with which it is approaching renewable electricity generation, the benefits for the island are potentially huge – economically, environmentally, and socially.

Working with colleagues in the University of Kwazulu Natal and the University of Exeter, we want to be part of St Helena’s pathway to green sustainable energy. In the near-term, St Helena is an invaluable case study to instruct and inspire other nations transitioning to renewable electrical generation. Going forward however, the island presents multiple opportunities for energy research projects. Our talk will give an overview of the of this research space and expand on our part of it. We will present some initial thoughts around research opportunities in renewable energy on St Helena, looking at the role of both systems engineering and low-level enabling technology.


Invertebrates back from the brink? Using the Invertebrate Conservation Evaluation (ICE) Framework on St Helena

Speaker: Dr Alan Gray

Affilliation: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Invertebrates dominate global species diversity with many species threatened with extinction. There are however, many barriers to the effective conservation of invertebrates including: high species richness; poor taxonomic and ecological knowledge; inadequately known biological distributions; complex lifecycles; inadequate or limited availability of skills; and a lack of social and political appreciation leading to low priority. We present an Invertebrate Conservation Evaluation (ICE) framework, and using a case study of St Helena show how it can be used to review invertebrate data, highlight invertebrate conservation knowledge gaps that can then lead to the prioritisation of invertebrate conservation within any particular region.


SAERI Research in the South Atlantic

Speaker: Tara Pelembe

Affiliation: South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute

Saeri’s vision is to be an internationally recognised academic institute based in the Falkland islands, operating in the South Atlantic from the equator down to the ice in Antarctica, conducting world class natural and physical science research teaching students and building capacity within and between the UK South Atlantic Overseas Territories. This presentation gives an overview of some of SAERI’s research highlights over the last 5 years since its inception, and attempts to demonstrate the value of cross-territory collaborative research as a valuable tool for strengthening links between the islands and the outside world. Some of the projects presented will include Natural Capital Assessments – a new way of looking at nature; marine spatial planning – how maps really do help us to see what is happening; SAERI PhD student projects; Key Biodiversity areas and European Overseas Countries and Territories Research initiatives. It also attempts to tell the story of the creation of a research institute on a small island, as a model that is already being shared with and adapted by other islands.


06 February 2018 – Marine Environment and Environmental Economics

Fishes of St Helena with particular attention to central Atlantic endemics

Keynote Speaker: Professor Alasdair Edwards

Affiliation: University of Newcastle

The tropical central Atlantic islands of Saint Helena, Ascension and St Paul’s Rocks share a number of fish species found only at the three islands and nowhere else, as well as species endemic to the individual islands. These endemics are of interest to both conservationists and biogeographers. This talk will focus on the often colourful endemic fishes, their conservation status, and what their relationships and those of other fish species can tell us about the colonisation of the island’s shallow water.


 Plastic Pollution in Our Global Ocean:  Sources, Impacts and Solutions

Speaker: Nicholas Mallos

Affiliation: Ocean Conservancy

Ocean plastic debris is one of the most prolific and visible threats facing our ocean today, endangering ocean wildlife and harming the billions of people who rely on the ocean every day for their livelihoods. The lack of effective materials management and exorbitant growth in plastics production/consumption are two of the greatest challenges we face in tackling this global issue. Roughly 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters our ocean each year, and if left unabated, our ocean could contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of finfish by 2025. Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® program has been working with scientists, members of industry members, and non-governmental partners around the world to build off of the best available scientific research and identify systemic, land-based solutions to addressing marine debris.

A flourishing future for St Helena: but what will St Helena get out of a Blue Belt?

Speaker: Charles Clover

Affiliation Blue Marine Foundation

St Helena is part of the Blue Belt, a programme which supports delivery of the UK government’s manifesto commitment to provide long term protection of over four million square kilometres of marine environment across the UK Overseas Territories. These territories host globally significant marine biodiversity and habitats found nowhere else on earth.

The Great British Oceans Coalition Blue Belt Charter is supported by 250 UK MPs, which gives St Helena a powerful argument for its thorough implementation.

St Helena’s flourishing future is intrinsically linked with the successful establishment of the IUCN Category VI Marine Protected Area, which by definition must, amongst other things, ‘promote low-level sustainable use of natural resources‘; in this case through both fisheries and tourism.

This objective is entirely achievable and in all other places in the world Marine Protected Areas – if appropriately managed – can become a huge draw for tourism and provide intergenerational economic security. While the Category VI MPA and indeed tourism itself, are in their infancy on St Helena, we would like to ensure that we do not undermine the natural resources, but rather maximise their value, sustainably.

To do that, we need to work together to improve infrastructure (specifically the fisheries processing plant), address waste management issues and improve our scientific understanding of the endangered species inhabiting the wonderful, yet fragile marine environment of St Helena.


What is the value of valuing the environment?

Speaker: Nicole Shamier

Affiliation: St Helena Government

Why do we put an economic value on things? Why is it useful to know that Gross Value Added in forestry in the UK was £0.63 billion in 2016? Why do we care that the perceived value of the scuba diving market was $8 billion in 2007? Why does this matter and how do economists use this information to influence policy?

The presentation starts by giving good and bad examples of valuation studies and their use (or lack of). It then questions the focus of any valuation study and the amount of time and resources which one should commit in order to get the most out of a piece of research. Thoughts are expressed as to how to design a valuation study in order for it to make the biggest positive impact to the environmental cause. And finally, some ideas for valuation studies in St Helena are presented.


Isolation, Connection and the Future: Education on St Helena

Speaker: Shirley Wahler

Affiliation: St Helena Government, Education and Employment

With the opening of the new airport, St Helena is entering a new era in economic development and global connectivity. This presentation looks at how the historic isolation of the island has shaped education in St Helena and considers how recent and imminent develop is changing how education is perceived and valued within the community.
The recently established St Helena Community College has a key role in offering empowerment and opportunity for Saints, and its short history provides an indication of how education can contribute to sustainable development. The need to encourage and support research activities on St Helena is identified as a component of valuing the island’s natural heritage and promoting sustainable policies and practices.


07 February – Webinar

What News about dolphins of the Falkland Islands?

Speaker: Dr Marina Costa

Affiliation: South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI)

This research is part of a two-year project called ‘Dolphins of the Kelp’ funded by the Darwin Initiative and by the Falkland Islands Government. During this session, recent project discoveries will be unfolded for the first time, concerning two dolphins commonly encountered in the coastal waters of the Falklands: Commerson’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii), and Peale’s dolphin (Lagenorhynchus australis).

New scientific discoveries include the genetic relationship among Commerson’s dolphins in the southern hemisphere and the abundance estimates for both species obtained by aerial-based survey using line transect methods. Other information presented concern seasonal distribution and group size, reproductive peak, movements, and habitat overlapping for the two species. These data have been gathered during boat survey using photo-identification methods. The results presented in this session are the first available for the Falklands ‘populations’. Although preliminary, they provide therefore an interesting outlook on two poorly known dolphins’ species.