Antarctic marine biodiversity: challenges and future outlook
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The conservation of biodiversity is an issue of global importance, especially in response to widespread global change as a result of human activity. In Antarctica, the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty has been in operation since 1991. Even though the continent and surrounding Southern Ocean is designated as an area devoted to peace and science, there is a significant lack of cohesive biodiversity management in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In 2015 a group of experts on Antarctica and biodiversity convened in Monaco to discuss the biodiversity outlook for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The resulting strategy is known as the Monaco Assessment, and aims to conserve the biodiversity of Antarctica in accordance with the global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for 2011-2020. The purpose of this report is to understand the challenges facing the management and conservation of biodiversity, as human activity in Antarctica is increasing along with the effects of climate change, ocean acidification, and invasive species. What do we know about marine biodiversity in Antarctica? Can biodiversity targets be set in the Southern Ocean? Where do we need to focus our efforts, and why? A Biodiversity Strategy for Antarctica can help prioritise research in areas where there are gaps in the knowledge base, and align with the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity for more effective management.