Immediately following the conflict, approximately 1,855 mines were removed and destroyed.
In total, the 117 mined areas that remain cover just over 13 sq km and contain an estimated 20,000 land mines. Clearing these mined areas presents significant technical and environmental challenges, covering as they do a wide range of terrain including sand dunes, rock screes and peat.
Under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Convention), the UK has an obligation to clear these mined areas by March 2019. A Feasibility Study on the clearance of landmines in the Falkland Islands was completed in October 2007. In November 2008, the Government announced their decision to proceed with the clearance of selected mined areas. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is now taking forward the procurement process to carry out this de-mining, and has established a National Mine Action Authority (which includes representatives from the Falkland Islands Government) to oversee this. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a Prior Information Notice on 20 February 2009 for the contract which we will put out to tender.
In the meantime, in full compliance with the Ottawa Convention, the mined areas are clearly marked, fenced and regularly monitored.
Since the end of the conflict in 1982 there have been no deaths involving land mines in the Falkland Islands.
No funding has been provided to the Falkland Islands for the purposes of de-mining. As the state party to the Ottawa Convention it is the responsibility of the Government to clear the mined areas in the Falkland Islands.
There is a Ministry of Defence funded Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment permanently based in the Falkland Islands that regular monitors the mined areas and disposes of mines that surface.