Are the SCAR/COMNAP guidelines effective in monitoring the impacts of human activites on the Antarctic environment?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The SCAR / COMNAP Technical Handbook (2000) and Practical Guidelines (2005) for environmental monitoring are designed to help new signatories to the Madrid Protocol create effective environmental monitoring regimes for activities in Antarctica. The documents are only relevant for National Antarctic Programmes so other activities such as tourism and fishing are outside the scope of this investigation. A short history of the Madrid Protocol and summary of the COMNAP guidelines set the scene for three case studies, examining the environmental monitoring programmes at Scott Base (NZ), McMurdo Station (US) and the Thala Valley Tip (AUS). Different monitoring methods are being used by each programme and there is currently no central database for monitoring reports, in part because there is no compulsory requirement to publish the data. Changing the Madrid Protocol to introduce minimum environmental monitoring requirements and to require compulsory reporting on environmental monitoring would help to streamline monitoring systems. Having the reports in one central location would make it easier to access data and identify historical trends while encouraging National Antarctic Programmes to adopt best practices and follow the steps laid out in the COMNAP Guidelines.
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