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Antarctic Research Features

29 March 2017:

1Signed map NZ USA Chair smallA recent study has analysed the Antarctic protected areas system (APAS) and found that it remains largely unsystematic and underdeveloped. APAS is legislated through the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and the Convention on the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The system has operated for over 50 years through multi-national agreement by consensus but the rate of protected area designation has almost halved in the past 10 years. The authors suggest that the early engagement of Parties in collaborative area protection may strengthen APAS and help safeguard the continent’s values for the future. They note that insights from the APAS could translate to area protection for regions as diverse as the high seas and outer space.

Kevin A. Hughes and Susie M. Grant, “The spatial distribution of Antarctica’s protected areas: A product of pragmatism, geopolitics or conservation need?”, Environmental Science & Policy, 72, 2017.

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