A Review of Specially Protected Areas in Antarctica with Particular Reference to Antarctic Specially Managed Areas
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The mechanisms for the protection of the Antarctic environment have evolved and progressed throughout the past century. Typically, the evolutionary path of these conservation measures have developed and reflected the change in the mentality of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties. It is possible to identify three distinct eras of protected area management within Antarctica. Firstly, the exploration era and the associated seal harvesting. This era formulated, and can be acknowledged for the protection of specific species. The Agreed Measures identified the adverse effects that humans were having on the Antarctic environment and consequently established the concept of habitat protection and the notion of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas. The Protocol advanced the notion of protected areas and produced a regime that rationalised this concept. The Protocol enforces the usage of Management Plans and consequently has produced a system that is regionally focused. Annex V of the Protocol deals with Specially Protected Areas. Article 4 of this Annex is specific to Antarctic Specially Managed Areas. Currently there are four ASMAs within the Antarctic environment. These consist of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Cape Denison, Admiralty Bay and Deception Island. These ASMAs are and can be considered a framework for the potential future designations. However, within the ASMA system and the Protocol regime there are still areas that need attention. Many of the issues that are present today have been common themes throughout the history of protected areas in Antarctica and in time and with experience, these issues will potentially be solved.