Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Introduction Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain and Spain, then between Britain and Argentina. The UK asserted its claim to the islands by establishing a naval garrison there in 1833. Argentina invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and after fierce fighting forced an Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.
History

The islands are referred to in the English language as "[The] Falkland Islands". This name dates from an expedition led by John Strong in 1690, who named the islands after his patron, Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount Falkland. The Spanish name for the islands, "Islas Malvinas", is derived from the French name "Îles Malouines", bestowed in 1764 by Louis Antoine de Bougainville, after the mariners and fishermen from the Breton port of Saint-Malo who became the island's first known settlers. The ISO designation is "Falkland Islands (Malvinas)".

As a result of the continuing sovereignty dispute, the use of many Spanish names is considered offensive in the Falkland Islands, particularly those associated with the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands.[7] General Sir Jeremy Moore would not allow the use of Islas Malvinas in the surrender document, dismissing it as a propaganda term.

Geography Location: Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of southern Argentina
Geographic coordinates: 51 45 S, 59 00 W
Map references: South America
Area: total: 12,173 sq km
land: 12,173 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,288 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate: cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 24 inches in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but does not accumulate
Terrain: rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Usborne 705 m
Natural resources: fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (99% permanent pastures, 1% other) (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: strong winds persist throughout the year
Environment - current issues: overfishing by unlicensed vessels is a problem; reindeer were introduced to the islands in 2001 for commercial reasons; this is the only commercial reindeer herd in the world unaffected by the 1986 Chornobyl disaster
Geography - note: deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season
Politics

Executive authority is vested in the Queen and is exercised by the Governor on her behalf. The Governor is also responsible for the administration of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, as these islands have no native inhabitants. Defence and Foreign Affairs are the responsibility of the United Kingdom. The current Governor is Alan Huckle, appointed July 2006.

Under the constitution, the latest version of which came into force in 1985, there is an Executive Council and a Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands. The Executive Council, which advises the Governor, is also chaired by the Governor. It consists of the Chief Executive, Financial Secretary and three Legislative Councillors, who are elected by the other Legislative Councillors. The Legislative Council consists of the Chief Executive, Financial Secretary and the eight Legislative Councillors, of whom five are elected from Stanley and three from Camp, for four-year terms. It is presided over by the Speaker, currently Darwin Lewis Clifton.

The loss of the war against the United Kingdom over control of the islands led to the collapse of the Argentine military dictatorship in 1983. Disputes over control of the islands continue. In 1992 Argentina and Britain resumed diplomatic relations and reopened their embassies in each other's countries. In 1998, in retaliation for the arrest in London of the former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean government banned flights between Punta Arenas and Port Stanley, thus isolating the islands from the rest of the world. Uruguay and Brazil refused to authorise direct flights between their territories and Port Stanley, forcing the Islands' government to enter negotiations with the Argentine government which led to Argentina authorising direct flights between its territory and Stanley, on condition that Argentine citizens be allowed on the islands.[23] In 2001, British Prime Minister Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister to visit Argentina since the war. On the twenty-second anniversary of the war, Argentina's President Néstor Kirchner gave a speech insisting that the islands would once again be part of Argentina. Kirchner, campaigning for president in 2003, regarded the islands as a top priority. In June 2003 the issue was brought before a United Nations committee, and attempts have been made to open talks with the United Kingdom to resolve the issue of the islands. As far as the Falkland Islands Government and people are concerned, there is no issue to resolve. The Falkland Islanders themselves are almost entirely British and maintain their allegiance to the United Kingdom.[24]

On 2 April 2007 (exactly 25 years after the Argentine invasion), Argentina renewed its claim over the Falkland Islands, asking for the UK to resume talks on sovereignty.

Falkland Islanders were granted full British citizenship from 1 January 1983 under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983.

22 September 2007, The Guardian reported the UK government was preparing to stake new claims on the sea floor around the Falklands and other UK remote island possessions, in order to exploit natural resources that may be present.[25] In October 2007, a British spokeswoman confirmed that Britain intended to submit a claim[26] to the UN to extend seabed territory around the Falklands and South Georgia, in advance of the expiry of the deadline[27] for territorial claims following Britain's ratification of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.[28]. If the claim is disputed, the UN will suspend the claim until the dispute is settled.[26] The claim is largely theoretical and does not affect the Antarctic treaty or confirm new rights upon Britain. Neither does it permit the exploitation of oil or gas reserves, since these are banned by a protocol to the treaty. It would enable Britain to police fishing within the zone to prevent over exploitation of natural resources by commercial fishing in line with Britain's obligations under the treaty.[29] Nevertheless many commentators have criticised the move for going against the spirit of the Antarctic treaty.[27] Argentina has indicated it will challenge any British claim to Antarctic territory and the area around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

People Population: 3,105 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA
Population growth rate: 2.44% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: NA
Death rate: NA
Net migration rate: NA
Infant mortality rate: total: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Life expectancy at birth: total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Total fertility rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Falkland Islander(s)
adjective: Falkland Island
Ethnic groups: British
Religions: primarily Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, Evangelist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran, Seventh-Day Adventist
Languages: English
Literacy: NA
Government Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina
Government type: NA
Capital: name: Stanley
geographic coordinates: 51 42 S, 57 51 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in September; ends third Sunday in April
Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
National holiday: Liberation Day, 14 June (1982)
Constitution: 3 October 1985; amended 1997 and 1998
Legal system: English common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor Alan HUCKLE (since 25 August 2006); Chief Executive Chris SIMPKINS (since March 2003); note - Dr. Tim THOROGOOD will assume the position of Chief Executive in January 2008
cabinet: Executive Council; three members elected by the Legislative Council, two ex officio members (chief executive and the financial secretary), and the governor
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council (10 seats; 2 members are ex officio and 8 are elected by popular vote; to serve four-year terms); presided over by the governor
elections: last held 17 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2009)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 8
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (chief justice is a nonresident); Magistrates Court (senior magistrate presides over civil and criminal divisions); Court of Summary Jurisdiction
Political parties and leaders: none; all independents
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: ICFTU, UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Flag description: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Falkland Island coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms contains a white ram (sheep raising was once the major economic activity) above the sailing ship Desire (whose crew discovered the islands) with a scroll at the bottom bearing the motto DESIRE THE RIGHT
Demographics

The population is 2,967 (July 2003 estimate), the majority of which are of British descent (approximately 70%), as a result of primarily Scottish and Welsh immigration to the islands.[35] The native-born inhabitants call themselves "Islanders". Outsiders often call Islanders "Kelpers", from the kelp which grows profusely around the islands, but the name is no longer used in the Islands. Those people from the United Kingdom who have obtained Falkland Island status became what are known locally as 'belongers'. A few Islanders are of French, Gibraltarian (such as the Pitalaugas), Portuguese and Scandinavian descent. Some are the descendants of whalers who reached the Islands during the last two centuries. Furthermore there is a small minority of South American, mainly Chilean origin, and in more recent times many people from Saint Helena have also come to work in the Islands. The Falkland Islands have been a centre of English language learning for South Americans.

The main religion is Christianity. The main denominations are Church of England, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, and Lutheran-based denominations. Other smaller numbers of Christian churches are active, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventist and Greek Orthodox; with the latter being due to Greek fishermen passing through. There is also a small Bahá'í presence

Economy Economy - overview: The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming, but today fishing contributes the bulk of economic activity. In 1987 the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees total more than $40 million per year, which help support the island's health, education, and welfare system. Squid accounts for 75% of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Exports feature shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of postage stamps and coins. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. The British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands in 1993, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day; to date, no exploitable site has been identified. An agreement between Argentina and the UK in 1995 seeks to defuse licensing and sovereignty conflicts that would dampen foreign interest in exploiting potential oil reserves. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 30,000 visitors in 2001. Another large source of income is interest paid on money the government has in the bank. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $75 million (2002 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $NA
GDP - real growth rate: NA%
GDP - per capita (PPP): $25,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 95%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (1996)
Labor force: 1,724 (est.) (1996)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
industry and services: 5% (1996)
Unemployment rate: full employment; labor shortage (2001)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.6% (1998)
Budget: revenues: $66.2 million
expenditures: $67.9 million (FY98/99 est.)
Agriculture - products: fodder and vegetable crops; sheep, dairy products; fish, squid
Industries: fish and wool processing; tourism
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 16 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 14.88 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 240 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 227.9 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Exports: $125 million (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: wool, hides, meat, fish, squid
Exports - partners: Spain 81.9%, US 6%, UK 4.5% (2006)
Imports: $90 million (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities: fuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing
Imports - partners: UK 72.5%, US 15.1%, Netherlands 8.5% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $0 (1997 est.)
Debt - external: $NA
Currency (code): Falkland pound (FKP)
Currency code: FKP
Exchange rates: Falkland pounds per US dollar - 0.4993 (2007), 0.5434 (2006), 0.5504 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003)
note: the Falkland pound is at par with the British pound
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 2,400 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 0 (2001)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA
domestic: government-operated radiotelephone and private VHF/CB radiotelephone networks provide effective service to almost all points on both islands
international: country code - 500; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) with links through London to other countries
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 7, shortwave 0 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides Radio 1 and Radio 2 service) (2006)
Radios: 1,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 2 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite service to members of UK Forces as well as islanders); cable television is available in Stanley (2006)
Televisions: 1,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .fk
Internet hosts: 104 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: 1,900 (2002)
Transportation Airports: 6 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 4
under 914 m: 4 (2007)
Roadways: total: 440 km
paved: 50 km
unpaved: 390 km (2003)
Ports and terminals: Stanley
Military Military branches: no regular military forces
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: Argentina, which claims the islands in its constitution and briefly occupied them by force in 1982, agreed in 1995 to no longer seek settlement by force; UK continues to reject Argentine requests for sovereignty talks