Table of contents
About this book
This book discusses concerns for the sensitive environments and ecosystems of Antarctica and looks ahead to the state of the continent as it might be in 2060. At the beginning of the 21st century, Antarctica stands at the edge of a warmer and busier world. The editors have gathered leading researchers to examine the challenges of Antarctic environmental governance, and to address such important questions as: What future will Business-As-Usual bring to the Antarctic environment? Will a Business-As-Usual future be compatible with the objectives set out under the Antarctic Treaty, especially its Protocol on Environmental Protection? What actions are necessary to bring about alternative futures for the next 50 years?
An introductory chapter sets the scene by tracing the history of human activities, and the development of international legislation and other governance initiatives, for managing environmental impacts in Antarctica. Section A: Species and Ecosystems examines the future state of Antarctic ecosystems in general, and specifically focuses on baleen whales, fisheries, introduction of non-native species, and the consequences of human trampling on soils. Section B: Regional Case Studies offers detailed summaries of human activities and environmental management in three distinct regions - Fildes Peninsula and Deception Island in the South Shetland Islands, and McMurdo Station in the Ross Sea region - as microcosms of current practice from which lessons can be learned. Section C: Actors and Sectors offers a diverse set of perspectives from representatives of environmental non-governmental organizations and governmental institutions as well as from tourism and sustainability researchers on how Antarctica is used, valued and governed, and how strategic thinking can assist in exploring, and potentially reaching, desirable futures for the Antarctic environment. The conclusion chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and calls for integrating a strategic vision into all aspects of Antarctic environmental governance.
Antarctic Futures: Human Engagement with the Antarctic Environment draws on research from the International Polar Year (2007-2009) presented at the 2010 Oslo Science Conference, probing multiple dimensions of human engagement with the Antarctic environment.