All Projects in South Georgia

The Wildlife and Protected Areas (WPA) Ordinance was enacted in 2011 and provides a legal basis for the strict environmental policies of GSGSSI. Under the Ordinance it is an offence to wilfully or carelessly introduce non-native species, to handle or harm any flora or fauna or conduct activities that are likely to result in damage to habitats.

Any organisation or individual wishing to conduct scientific or other projects in South Georgia or the South Sandwich Islands requires a Regulated Activity Permit (RAP) from the GSGSSI.

All those visiting South Georgia must also familiarise themselves with the South Georgia Code of Conduct.

How to apply for a Regulated Activity Permit (RAP)

BAS scientists or those supported by BAS logistics are required to follow this two-step process:

  1. Prior to applying for a RAP from GSGGSI, BAS scientists or those supported by BAS logistics will need to complete a BAS Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and submit this to BAS Environment Office. This BAS EIA is the mechanism to gain BAS environmental approval for your project and it ensures that any BAS environmental requirements are met and appropriate mitigation measures agreed.
  2. Once applicants have received their approved BAS EIA, they will need to complete the GSGSSI online application form (and submit a copy of their BAS EIA) in order to fulfil any GSGSSI requirements and apply for the RAP. There are three categories of RAP application which vary depending on the complexity of the project. GSGSSI has developed a RAP decision tree to help you identify the level of RAP application form needed for each project.

Renewals for long-term projects

If your project forms part of a long-term study, providing you have already been issued with a RAP and all permit conditions have been met, then you may renew your RAP for up to 3 years (i.e. to a maximum duration of 4 years), by completing an Online RAP Renewal Form. Please contact BAS Environment Office – [email protected] – to discuss any changes to your project in advance.

Submission and deadline

  • All BAS EIA forms should be submitted to BAS Environment Office ([email protected]) by 30th June each year. These will be reviewed and approved by BAS Environment Office.
  • Once you have been issued with an approved BAS EIA, you are required to complete the relevant GSGSSI online RAP application form. GSGSSI will review and approve your application as appropriate and issue the relevant permit.

Post season review of projects in South Georgia

The GSGSSI is responsible for reviewing all permitted activities that occurred in SGSSI and that were issued with RAP permits. GSGSSI will contact all BAS PIs and ask them to complete a retrospective review of their activities undertaken under the RAP through an online RAP feedback form.  If the project involved exporting samples then the PI will also need to submit their exported material declaration form for via the online feedback form.

Antarctic Permits

Under the Antarctic Act (1994, 2013) and the Antarctic Regulations 1994/490 as amended (Sections 3-5), all British Antarctic expeditions, stations, vessels and aircraft require an operational permit from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Conducting activities in Antarctica without first obtaining a permit, or breaching of permit conditions, or breach of a prohibition, is an offence punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

Specialist Activities in Antarctica

Under the Antarctic Act (1994, 2013) the following Specialist Activities are prohibited without a permit issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or under delegated authority by BAS:

  • Mineral resource activities for the purpose of scientific research
  • The taking of, or harmful interference with, fauna or flora
  • The intentional introduction of non-native species
  • Entry into an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA)
  • Temporarily removing objects from an Antarctic Historic Site and Monument (HSM) for conservation or repair

If you want to undertake any of the activities listed above please download the ‘PEA and Specialist Activity Permit Application‘ form that can be accessed from this page.