Learn more about specific causes in Falkland Islands that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentIn the early 2000s, the government of the Falkland Islands established multiple protection measures to preserve and restore the natural habitats on the islands. Some of these measures included replanting grass, creating wildlife sanctuaries, and educating young islanders on the importance of environmental protection.1 In 2010, the islands constructed wind turbines as part of an experimental project aimed at lowering energy costs and finding effective renewable energy sources.2
FamilyOnly 2,500 people call the Falkland Islands home. Most are of British descent, along with Chilean and St. Helenian residents. Just over 2,000 people live in the capital city of Stanley and the rest are scattered across several tiny farming communities.1 46% of the population is married, 30% is single, and only 6% have been divorced.2
Human RightsThe Falkland Islands’ small population leaves it vulnerable to monopoly and abuse from larger countries like the UK and Argentina. In 2010, Argentinian ships blockaded the Falkland Islands’ ports in an attempt to control all imports and exports. Although the British military removed the ships, the islands are left susceptible to attacks from bigger nations.1 In 2015, the UN investigated a claim that Falkland Islanders were not allowed the right to determine their own political sovereignty. It was determined that the complaint involved a territorial dispute rather than democratic sovereignty.2
EducationThe Falkland Islands provides free education for children from ages 6-16. Several schools are located in the capital city of Stanley, but children who live in the country and cannot attend school still receive a high level of education. There is a network of traveling teachers who spend 1-2 weeks with children on farms, providing them with intense, individualized lessons. When the teachers leave, the child’s education continues over the phone. When students reach age 16, the highest performing ones are chosen to receive full scholarship and funding to receive higher education in London.1
PovertyOnly 1% of Falkland Islanders are unemployed, and half of those are mentally or physically unable to work.1 Over one-fifth of citizens are employed by the government, closely followed by agriculture and the tourism industry. 20% of residents are also employed in more than one job.2 Retirement pensions for the elderly are generous and sufficient to provide for their basic needs.1
Religion67% of Falkland Islanders identify as Christians, 32% are unaffiliated with any religion, and other religions such as Buddhism and Judaism make up less than 1% each.1
Clean WaterWater treatment and sewage plants are maintained by the UK Ministry of Defense, although the dated infrastructure creates a need for maintenance during the short summer months.1
EconomyFor many years, the Falkland Islands depended on agriculture and fishing as its main source of income. Tourism and the British military presence also provided a boost to the economy, allowing the islands to be fully self-sufficient aside from defense.1 In 2010, the discovery of massive oil reserves around the island caught the interest of big energy companies and created a new source of income for the islands.2 Estimates in 2016 determined that there were over 1 billion barrels of oil available for recovery, which could be worth about £1.5 billion.3,4 Argentina is eager to bolster its shrinking economy, and it began pursuing negotiations with the UK in 2016 for joint ventures to explore the seas around the islands.5 The annual Gross Domestic Product is Read More about £100 million.6 Show Less
GovernmentThe Falkland Islands are a self-governing territory of the United Kingdom and the subject of a centuries-long international territory dispute. Argentina claims authority over the islands, citing inheritance from Spain in the early 1800s, although they have been formally controlled by the British since 1833. In that year, the British shut down an Argentinian attempt at seizing control in a brief, but bloody, war.1 Since then, the islands have been governed by an appointed chief executive and Legislative Assembly, with foreign affairs and defense handled by the UK.2 In 2013, islanders almost unanimously voted to remain a British overseas territory.1
HealthThe percentage of residents who drink and smoke is higher in the Falkland Islands than it is in the UK. 27% of residents regularly smoke and 75% drink alcohol. Of the percentage of those who drink, approximately 10% of men and women drink over the daily recommended limits regularly.1 Health care is free for all residents of the Falkland Islands.2
ChildrenChildren aged 0-15 make up 16.5% of the overall population.1 Children in both rural and urban areas have access to education and opportunity to pursue higher education in the UK after the age of 16. 75% of those who leave to attend school in the UK end up returning to the islands to repay the investment made in them by their communities.2
AnimalsThe Falkland Islands are a popular breeding ground for over 60 species of birds. Very rare breeds of penguins and elephant seals are also found on the islands and are protected by their isolated location. The surrounding seas provide a protected home for dolphins and whales.1 Sheep farming is a major occupation on the islands, and the sheep outnumber the residents 167 to 1.2
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