HIS Royal Highness the Duke of York, patron of Falklands Conservation (FC) hosted an evening at St James’s Palace, London on June 2 in support of FC’s Building for the Future fundraising campaign.
The organisation’s vision is to construct a Falklands Conservation Nature Centre adjacent to the award winning Museum and National Trust buildings and thus bringing the Islands’ nature and heritage together in one place.
The Centre will provide an indoor activity and learning space for the Watch Group. It will showcase the conservation work of FC, as well as the local community. It will provide interactive displays of the unique wildlife of the Islands, and the work done by many to conserve it, as well as house the FC headquarters and the National Herbarium.
FC’s Chair Roger Spink introduced the Prince, thanked him for hosting the event,and thanked sponsors the Falkland Islands Government, Stanley Services Ltd, Falkland Islands holdings PLC, and Waitrose. Mr Spink’s speech was followed by a short film featuring the Islands’ wildlife and included words of support from FC’s Vice President, Sir David Attenborough.
Chief Executive Officer Esther Bertram then spoke, and noted that one of the things that had impressed her about the Falklands was something local historian John Smith had pointed out; that modern Falklands institutions had been built in a single generation, by a small, hard-working and inspirational community.
She said alongside government and business, the third ingredient of a healthy democracy was a vibrant civil society, made of diverse groups, individuals and organisations like FC, and that this sector required investment the same as any other.
She hoped that all present that evening might have a shared vision; that all industries, government departments, organisations and individuals have the potential to pass on a “positive environmental legacy in the Islands.”
Not just ‘to do no harm’, but positively benefit the natural environment. She hoped that the results of the Building for the Future campaign would inspire and facilitate the Islands’ youth to leave their own positive environmental legacy.
A spokesperson for Falklands Conservation said: “We would like to say a big thank you to all those who helped with organising the event, to all who attended and donated on the night, as well as those who have previously donated to the campaign. We would be very grateful for any offers of support in the coming months to help us achieve our Building for the Future fundraising goal.
FC also held held a local launch at Government House this week.