Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-jb2ch Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-23T20:26:49.496Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

How do we know that the Antarctic environment is fine?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2004

Rights & Permissions [Opens in a new window]


Core share and HTML view are not available for this content. However, as you have access to this content, a full PDF is available via the ‘Save PDF’ action button.

One might imagine that the only continent in the world devoted to peace and science would be certain to play a leadership role in global questions that needed a scientific answer. Indeed, to a dispassionate observer, the present situation with respect to reporting on the state of the Antarctic environment must seem bizarre. All the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties are members of the United Nations Environment Programme, and all are apparently committed to providing State of the Environment Reports for their respective regions. Why then have some of these very nations been so reluctant to accept that Antarctica is a key part of this world and, to provide the holistic view required, needs to be included in the reporting? The list of excuses for delay is lengthy: no money; no secretariat to organize through; likely to be too expensive; no clear reason to undertake it; not needed at present; who would be the audience; how would we maintain political oversight; etc. but none of them ever appeared insoluble. This has been clearly demonstrated by the recent publication by New Zealand of a State of the Environment Report for the Ross Sea Region.

© Antarctic Science Ltd 2002