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13. The Antarctic Treaty System as an Environmental Mechanism- An Approach to Environmental Issues John A. Heap and Martin W. HoZ4gate INTRODUCTION The Antarctic Treaty System is a management tool. It regulates human activities, by international consensus, over the whole area of land and ice shelf south of 60S latitude. It does so with certain defined objectives in view, laid down in the treaty and interpreted in consulta- tive meetings. Additional conventions have extended the regulation of certain human activities to a wider area of the Southern Ocean. From an environmental standpoint, the primary element in the treaty system is the requirement that the unique features of the Antarctic environment be safeguarded and made available to people of all nations for scientific research and their peaceful enjoyment. The ultimate objective of the treaty as an environmental mechanism is the harmonization of utilitarian, conservation, and aesthetic values. In this chapter we examine how far the treaty system has achieved this objective. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENT Publications about the Antarctic stress its distinctive and extreme features. Superlatives jostle one another. It is the coldest, highest, iciest, and most remote continent on Earth. It is surrounded by a continuous belt of the world's stormiest seas. It is fringed by the world's greatest expanse of floating ice and the world's largest icebergs. The two percent of land that is not covered in perennial ice supports the most impoverished plant and animal life of any continent, although the surrounding seas support comparatively productive marine 195

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196 ecosystems and immense populations of seabirds and marine mammals.1~2~3 These generalizations point to the unique character- istics of Antarctica, but they are of little point for our present analysis. We need to start by recognizing the contrast in the Antarctic environment between two broad types of subsystem: (1) Small, but numerous, terrestrial areas where human activity can have a considerable impact, even if it is itself on a relatively modest scale; (2) Large, broadly uniform marine and terrestrial areas capable of absorbing substantial human activity with little or no impact. These subsystems require somewhat fuller description. The two percent of ice-free land exists as a series of mountainous rock outcrops, coastal strips, and islands. In these areas, and especially around the coasts of the Antarctic Peninsula and its off-lying island groups, there are areas of primitive soil that support a sur- prising complexity of moss, hepatic and lichen vegetation, and associated soil animals. In these regions there are a few patches of the two kinds of higher plant native to Antarctica (the grass Deschampsia antarctica and the cushion plant Colobanthus crassifolius), and in a few areas, higher insects (small wingless midges) are also to be found. In some places the slow growth of the mosses has built up frozen peat to a depth of 2 m. These ice- free coastal areas are also the breeding ground for very large populations of seabirds, and they contain many small lakes, ice-free in summer and themselves supporting communities of plants and invertebrate animal life. In addition, this is a region where seals haul out both to breed and to molt, fertilizing the soil and lakes with their exoreta but damaging vegetation and soil by their wallowing. These areas thus exhibit a substantial degree of ecological interaction, which gives them high scien- tific interest. They stand out in any objective classifi- cation of Antarctic habitats. fragile. But they are also extremely The soils and moss mats have developed since ice retreat many centuries ago. They are still evolving under the influence of percolating moisture and the deposition of nutrients by birds and seals, by spray from the sea, and by the action of plants and the soil fauna and microflora. Although they are naturally disturbed

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197 through the regular physical alternation of freezing and thawing, they do not quickly regain their natural patterns if they are disturbed by people or vehicles. The moss mats are very slow growing (rates of approximately 1 mm a year) and bear the scars of human pressure (for example, footprints) for years or even decades. The bird popula- tions, although apparently tolerant of human intrusion, are actually affected in a subtle but nonetheless sig- nificant way. The metabolic rates of incubating penguins; for example, can be raised by the mere presence of an observer to such an extent that the birds' food reserves are insufficient to sustain them for their proper spell of incubation before being relieved by the other partner: eggs are therefore abandoned and breeding success reduced. Disturbance of these vulnerable coastal areas, which contain much of the attractiveness of the Antarctic to the tourist and much of its value to the scientist, there- fore tends to have a cumulative impact, which is far from obvious to the casual observer. The same probably applies to the shallow seas, which support a rich marine fauna below the limits of ice scour, although less is known about both the diversity and the resilience of these ecosystems in the face of disturbance from small boats and ships and from incidental pollution from vessels and shore stations. In contrast, the great expanses of the Antarctic ice cap support virtually no life except snow algae and are resilient in the face of human traverse and pressure. Snow obliterates the marks of man and vehicles, or wind scours them away. Likewise, the immense expanses of ocean and floating pack ice around the Antarctic, driven and mixed before wind and current, have a great capacity to disperse pollution and are most unlikely to bear any detectable impact from localized human activities, even up to the scale of a substantial oil spillage. The main extensive human activity in these areas--fishing for ~ (Eunhausia sunerba), now running at approximately ~uu,uuu tons per annum~--is still tiny compared with the estimated productivity of this species e Nonetheless, it is worth recalling that the major human impacts on Antarctica in the past have come through the disastrous over exploitation of two kinds of animal that depend on those extensive seas for their food--fur seals and whales. Too relaxed an attitude to the resilience of these oceans and their life forms is accordingly unwise. Krill occupy a central place in the Antarctic marine food web, account for about half of the total biomass of animal plankton,

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198 and sustain many species of whale, seal, and bird. All exploitative activities have small beginnings, and for this reason alone, biologists are right to be concerned that the present small catches of krill may be the harbinger of much more to come. HUMAN IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT OF ANTARCTICA Antarctica is a classic example of a frontier environ- ment. It lies, and almost certainly always will lie, beyond the bounds of permanent human settlement. People have made incursions into it, usually for short periods, in pursuit of resources or information that they can carry away. This was the approach of the initial sealing incursions between 1780 and 1830, which rapidly brought the fur seals of South Georgia, the other sub-Antarctic islands, and the South Shetland and South Orkney island groups to near extinction.5 The pressures were intensely competitive, and because the resource was open to all comers, with no sovereign interest in regulating its exploitation, it was quickly depleted and its habitat abandoned.6 A very similar approach was adopted by the twentieth century whaling industry, although here regula- tion was attempted once it was clear that unchecked open access and competitive exploitation threatened to destroy the interests of all the exploiters. The regulatory efforts have nonetheless brought only partial success, and many resource biologists would say that this is because there is no unquestioned authority able to impose a solution. In contrast, the incursions of scientists into Antarctica have been better organized and regulated, with international discussion of programs, exchange of data and observers, and the formulation of agreed coopera- tive programs through the Scientific Committee on Antarc- tic Research (SCAR).7 But the commercial element has been absent from these activities. Interest in Antarctica over past centuries, and especially since 1900, has arisen largely because of the continent's distinctive environmental features. Explora- tion of geographical, geological, glaciological, and biological attributes has gained ground and involved an increasing number of scientists. The research has pro- vided insights into the working of species and ecosystems in an extreme habitat and has contributed to understanding of how the Earth as a whole functions as a geophysical and biogeochemical system. We know that the Antarctic

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199 has a substantial impact on the climate of a wide zone of the Earth, and its marine circulation patterns interlink with those over the world ocean northward to the equator, and in some cases beyond.5 Today scientists go to the Antarctic because its environment offers insights and opportunities for study not to be found anywhere else on Earth. A primary objec- tive for the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) is to keep this environment free from damage and open to research. Increasingly, however, the Antarctic oceans are also being seen as the source of important food resources for human- ity, with a potential crop of krill estimated by some in the tens of millions of tons per annum, with a further potential yield if conservation measures eventually allow the resumption of whaling, and a possible additional resource of seabed hydrocarbons. Land mineral resources have also been the subject of increasing speculation. The ATS now needs to prove its effectiveness as a frame- work for the management of these commercial activities, which could easily hamper both the scientific uses of the region and the enjoyment of its unique wilderness qualities by an increasing number of visitors. One way of viewing the present challenge to the ATS is to ask whether it can ensure the implementation in Antarctica of the broad objectives of the World Conserva- tion Strategy (WCS).8 This analysis recognizes the importance of development of the world environment for human welfare but stresses that it is in the interest of all people for this development to be managed so that it provides for the sustainable use of the renewable resource base. Conservation of ecological systems and their genetic diversity is important from the human standpoint because these systems form a crucial part of the human life-support system. In the remainder of this chapter we analyze how far the ATS is implementing the objectives of the WCS in the region and ask whether the mechanism needs to be developed or adapted to ensure achievement of this objective in the future. THE EVALUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL GOALS The WCS and other analyses have led to the formulation of certain broad goals of environmental policy, which are applicable to all regions. These can be summarized in nine points:

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200 (1) There shall be a conscious plan for managing and developing the environment of a region; (2) The long-term productivity of ecological systems and other renewable resources shall be sustained under that plan, and the use of these resources shall be controlled by competent authorities; (3) Damage from chemical contamination and energy releases, which could threaten sustainable use, shall be held, by effective regulatory action, within limits formally established by the proper authorities; (4) Representative samples of the range of ecological diversity of the region shall be set aside as reserves, with conservation as the priority for their use; (5) Outstanding aesthetic qualities of the environment shall be safeguarded, with the establishment of "national parks" in key areas; (6) The likely impact of any activity liable to change the environment shall be evaluated in advance, and a regulatory system established to prevent activi- ties deemed likely to cause unacceptable damage; (7) There shall be proper scientific study as a basis for environmental assessment and management; (8) The state of the environment, the productivity of its systems, the degree of pollution, and the operation of activities permitted within conservation and management plans shall be monitored and periodic reports prepared and published; and (9) There shall be a consultative process, in which interested parties may participate, to adjust activities that threaten established environmental goals or appear liable to create unforeseen hazards, and this process shall include effective procedures for the resolution of disputes ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION WITHIN THE ANTARCTIC TREATY SYSTEM - Two quite distinct approaches to environmental questions, in a broad sense, are evident in the ATS. The first attempts to define principles that should govern the protection of the Antarctic environment from the damaging impact of present or future activities. The second identifies and guards against particular activities that

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201 could have a deleterious effect on the Antarctic environ- ment. The first approach is general and essentially nonspecific; the second is activity specific. Both are precautionary in their approach. The overall approach is defined in several general statements, especially those set out in Recommendations VIII-13 and IX-5 adopted at Antarctic Treaty consultative meetings. The key elements in these recommendations are the following: Extract from Recommendation VIII-13 The Representatives [of the consultative parties] RECOMMEND to their Governments: 1. In exercising their responsibility for the wise use and protection of the Antarctic environment they shall have regard to the following: (a) that in considering measures for the wise use and protection of the Antarctic environment they shall act in accordance with their respon- sibility for ensuring that such measures are consistent with the interests of all mankind; (b) that no actor activity having an inherent tendency to modify the environment over wide areas within the Antarctic Treaty Area should be undertaken unless appropriate steps have been taken to foresee the probable modifications and to exercise appropriate controls with respect to the harmful environmental effects such uses of the Antarctic Treaty Area may have; (c) that in cooperation with SCAR and other relevant agencies they continue, within the capabilities of their Antarctic scientific programme, to monitor changes in the environment, irrespective of their cause, and to exercise their responsibility for informing the world community of any significant changes caused by man's activities outside the Antarctic Treaty Area.... Extract from Recommendation IX-5 [The consultative parties] DEq~RMI~wn to protect the Antarctic environment from harmful interference;

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202 RAVING PARTICULAR REGARD to the conservation principles developed by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) of the International Council of Scientific Unions; RB GALLING their obligation to exert appropriate efforts, consistent.with the Charter of the U.N., to the end that no one engages in any activity in Antarctica contrary to the principles or purposes of the Antarctic Treaty; DECLARE as follows: 1. The consultative parties recognize their prime responsibility for the protection of the Antarctic environment from all forms of harmful human interference; 2. They will ensure in planning future activities that the question of environmental effects and of the possible impact of such activities on the relevant ecosystems are duly considered; 3. They will refrain from activities having an inherent tendency to modify the Antarctic environment unless appropriate steps have been taken to foresee the probable modifications and to exercise appropriate controls with respect to harmful environmental effects; 4. m ey will continue to monitor the Antarctic environment and to exercise their responsibility for informing the world community of any significant changes in the Antarctic Treaty Area caused by man's activities. The general principles in Recommendations VIII-13 and IX-5 are in full accord with the WCS and give a general direction to actions under the treaty to protect the environment. In particular, they emphasize the need to act in the Antarctic in the interests of all humankind [Recommendation VIII-13, l(a)]; to plan activities to avoid significant and avoidable environmental damage [Recommendations VIII-13, l(b) and IX-5, 1, 2, and 3]; and to maintain continuing scientific and administrative surveillance and monitoring [Recommendations VIII-13, l(c) and IX-5, 4]. They define a broad strategy for sound conservation of environmental resources, as required under the first of the nine objectives listed above. . The specific approach has led to actions under the treaty in the following eight areas, with a further theme under active discussion.

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203 (1) The Agreed Measures for Conservation of Antarctic . Fauna and Flora. These measures, concluded in 1964 at the Third Antarctic Treaty consultative meeting, were an exercise in forethought aimed at preventing any repetition of the near extermination of species that took place in the nineteenth century. These Agreed Measures, which have been characterized as a ~minitreaty, n or a treaty within a treaty, prohibit the citizens of any party to the treaty from killing, capturing, or molesting without a permit any mammal or bird native to Antarctica. They also establish the basis on which Specially Protected Areas shall be established and the rules that shall operate regarding access to them and define the concept of Specially Protected Species. Subsequently two Specially Protected Species and seventeen Specially Protected Areas have been designated, and it has been agreed that the statistics of animals killed or captured under permit will be published. (2) Seals. This convention was also an exercise in fore- . . . thought. It had its beginnings in 1964 when an explora- tory sealing voyage examined the potential harvest of crabeater seals in the South Atlantic pack ice. It was concluded in 1972, after a number of drafts had been examined by both SCAR and the consultative parties. The convention provides for closed areas, closed seasons, and for what would now, in the light of the Law of the Sea Convention and customary international law, be termed total allowable catches (TACs) of seals. These TACS were based on a ten percent take of what have turned out to be very conservative estimates of the total populations of pelagic seals. Since the convention was concluded there has been no commercial sealing in the Antarctic, but it is not clear how far this is an effect of the convention rather than of logistics difficulties, costs, and consumer resistance to seal products. (3) The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. concluded in 1980 and entered into force in 1982. This is an ambitious instrument that sets out to conserve the marine living resources of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean area south of the Antarctic convergence, including birds, in accordance with principles of ecosystem con- servation. Following the steady decline of Antarctic whaling through the 1950s and 1960s, fishing for finfish and experiments to see if krill could be located, caught, processed, and marketed began in 1969-1970. Initial The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic The convention (CCAMLR) was

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204 catches of finfish were good, but because of the slow rate of growth of these species in the cold Antarctic waters, catches on the four main grounds tailed off rapidly. Catches of krill rose fairly rapidly to 300,000 tons in 1983-1984, but the economics of this fishery remain doubtful because of processing and marketing problems. At present the forecasts of being able to double the world's marine resource catch from krill, made in the late 1960s, seem wildly far off the mark. There are major ecological doubts about how far it is prudent to harvest krill in view of its central role in the Antarctic marine ecosystem and the possibility that krill depletion will impair the recovery of whale populations. The questions facing CCAMLR in fulfillment of its own objectives are whether it can so regulate fishing of the depleted finfish stocks that there will be a return to higher catches on a sustainable basis and whether it can so regulate krill exploitation that the health of the Antarctic marine ecosystem as a whole is sustained. (4) Recommendations to foresee and guard against the impacts of tourism. From a study carried out in Britain and the Antarctic, it seems that the interests of tourists are in Antarctic stations, wildlife, and scenery in that order. The impact tends therefore to concentrate on the stations. But many of these stations are located in areas of particularly diverse and vulnerable coastal environ- ment, and long-term scientific studies are often in progress in their neighborhood. The recommendations provide for a government to say that it will not accept visits to its stations from tour ships and to regulate the activity of tourists when visiting stations. A reporting system has been established to monitor where tourists land elsewhere than at stations, and a statement of principles and practices of the Antarctic Treaty has been compiled for the information of all visitors including tourists (Recommendation X-8). It must be admitted that this statement is not very compelling reading, but some governmental expeditions have produced more interesting pamphlets about Antarctic wildlife with some simpler dos and don'ts for tourists.10 (5) Recommendations on the protection of historic sites. Some expeditions, notably from New Zealand, have restored and provided wardens for the huts of the "heroic age" explorers, which are most frequently visited. (6) Recommendations on the preparation by SCAR of a code of conduct for waste disposal in Antarctica. The code, which it is hoped will be applied to all expedi-

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205 tions, is now being revised in view of improvements in waste disposal techniques. (7) Recommendations on the establishment of Sites of _~ _L ~ likelihood of inadvertent interference with scientific studies. Proposals are first evaluated by SCAR and are then made applicable to all expeditions for a limited term of years by a recommendation. It is a failure of the treaty consultative partners that they have so far not found a way of resolving a perceived conflict of interest between designating marine SSSIs and freedom of navigation. (8) Environmental impact assessment. It was the recommendation of the last consultative meeting that all research activities and supporting logistics activities that are likely to have a significant impact on the Antarctic environment should be subject to such assessment. The same specific approach has also been evident in the discussions, at successive consultative meetings, on how to regulate possible minerals exploration and exploitation. These discussions continue and are des- cribed in other chapters of these proceedings. While they are centered on the administrative machinery that would regulate the development of economically useful minerals, including hydrocarbons, should these be dis- covered (and they have not been so far), the strongest underlying theme has been how to ensure that such activities do not damage the environment. The general principles in Recommendations VIII-13 and IX-5 have been put into practice by these various specific measures, which address a number of the environmental policy objectives set out above. The CCAMLR and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (Seals Convention)--and especially the former--seek to maintain the productivity of renewable living resources [objective (2)], and the first of these conventions is unusual in the stress it lays on the need to adjust harvesting so as not to impair the balance of the supporting components of the ecosystem. The recom- mendations on waste disposal fit within objective (3), while the Agreed Measures, recommendations on SSSIs, and recommendations on tourism together cover much of aims (4) and (5), which are concerned with the conservation of wildlife, scientific interest, and natural beauty. But there are no areas meeting the internationally accepted

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206 definition of national parks in Antarctica. The protected areas are small, and their selection was not originally based on a deliberate plan to safeguard a series of representative habitats and ecosystems. Objective (6) is directly covered by the proposals for environmental assessment, which would certainly be applied to any minerals-related activity. Finally, scientific study and monitoring are built into all parts of the ATS and into the program of SCAR. Open publication and broad international discussion of scientific findings are implemented through a well-established and effective consultative process. THE ANTARCTIC TREATY SYSTEM AS A MECHANISM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION The Antarctic has commonly been looked on as one of a progression of "last frontiersn--the American "West, Antarctica, space. Except for the slaughter of the seals in the 1820s and of the whales in the first half of this century--comparable to the slaughter of the North American bison--human presence in Antarctica has been organized in a way that the pushing back of other "frontiers" was not. Most of the activity in the Antarctic since World War II has been carried out by governments. Under the Antarctic Treaty, they set out to regulate their own activity, bringing to bear on it an awareness of the earlier and darker history of Antarctic exploitation and of the newer concepts of conservation, ecosystems, and the environment. So often, elsewhere in the world. these concepts have been brought into play for purposes of regulation only after damage has been done. In the Antarctic, by contrast, the treaty powers have set out both general and specific rules before the activities that they have sought to regulate are far advanced. That is an encouraging start. The same environmental con- sciousness continues. As one of us put it at one stage in the negotiation of the minerals regime: "Here are the claimants and nonclaimants going at each other about minerals, and what they are working out is not a minerals exploitation regime but an environmental protection regime. . . The main virtue of the activity-specific measures for environmental protection is their precautionary approach. m ey have addressed possible impacts of specific activities before the activity itself develops. In this

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207 respect, they observe what is becoming an increasingly prevalent feature of environmental policy. It could be said that the measures on sealing and tourism have not been tested, but the fact that regulations were in place before activities began or had reached any considerable scale must have had an influence on anyone wondering whether to invest money in such activities. The treaty system flashes an amber light signifying a clear intent to regulate. This warning light appears to have failed only with respect to finfish exploitation, but this came about because of the sudden arrival in the region of distant-water fishing fleets evicted by the rapid exten- sion of 200-mile fishing zones elsewhere in the world. Using examples like this, some critics have argued that the success of the ATS is more illusory than real.6~9 It is contended that the various measures have been agreed on without undue difficulty because nobody has a strong interest in breaching their pro- visions. Many of these provisions have not been tested by real pressure. It can also be argued that none of the conventions and recommendations gets to the root of the most proven difficulty in protecting such resources: the restriction of open, competitive access. Although regu- latory mechanisms that could include TACs are provided for under the CCAMER and the Seals Convention, their observance depends on voluntary restraint. This has notoriously had only partial success in conserving open access stocks elsewhere, notably those of oceanic whales. Virtually all regional fisheries conventions have encoun- tered comparable difficulties. Is it any more reasonable to expect a system founded on voluntary self-restraint, by a whole series of governments with differing attitudes to the ownership of the resources, to work effectively in Antarctica if strong economic incentives to exploit limited resources arise and if that exploitation is assigned to industries to whom a competitive approach is second nature? What is needed is an approach that, where there is doubt about the effects of exploitation, consistently gives the benefit of the doubt to the resource rather than to the exploiter. This approach has not yet been adopted anywhere on an international basis despite widespread recognition of its validity. For fisheries, the alternative process of extending coastal state jurisdiction has been followed in most areas. The ATS has certain features that should, in contrast, allow a conservationist approach to be followed at the inter-

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208 national level. The first is the proven ability of the system to lay down regulatory ground rules before large- scale investment has been committed. The second is the common wish of the parties not to have to fall back on the use of territorial jurisdiction, although this remains a possible alternative regulatory basis if all else fails. It is clear that there are gaps in the series of mea- sures adopted under the treaty. The coverage of Specially Protected Areas is not fully representative of the diver- sity of habitats and ecosystems in Antarctica--although these areas do cover many samples of particularly vulner- able, small coastal localities. The absence of large designated areas with the equivalent of national park status is seen by some as a serious gap--although we would argue that the Antarctic as a whole enjoys a degree of protection and an absence of threat unique in the world, so that this gap is more apparent than real. But we do accept that further action to extend the series of designated sites in relation to an objective scientific classification of the range of variation in Antarctic habitats is desirable. Such action was initiated by treaty Recommendation VII-2 in 1972, and SCAR is now preparing proposals. It is also important that such areas, once designated, be respected, something that has not happened in all respects so far. Another gap relates to pollution prevention. Recom- mendation VIII-MM on waste disposal deals with only one possible source of chemical contamination of the region. So far, there are no specific agreements to reduce the risk of oil pollution from ships (other than the various International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions) or to control the use of substances such as pesticides that could cause persistent low-level contamination of living organisms and so reduce their value as monitors of pollu- tion dispersed from outside. Radioactive contamination has been contained by agreements--including the voluntary decommissioning by the United States in 1972 of the small nuclear reactor erected at McMurdo in 1962, and the removal of its wastes and other material from the area. But this whole subject of contamination and pollution is another topic for continuing discussion. There is also the problem of competing use. The treaty system currently provides no guidance on how the values of, for example, scientific research, shore-based minerals development, fishery potential, and the conser- vation of wildlife and aesthetic qualities are to be weighed against one another in circumstances where there

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209 is perceived competition between them. These conflicts need to be resolved individually and locally: it is no answer to give one use of Antarctica absolute and univer- sal priority over others. There needs, therefore, to be machinery for reasoned judgment among alternative uses of the environment. To catalog these and other gaps is not, however, to establish failure on the part of the treaty system. Rather, it is to demonstrate that the present measures of environmental protection require both extension and consolidation--and that the mechanism tested over the past 20 years provides a good basis for both. SCAR provides an authoritative source of scientific judgment about Antarctic ecosystems and their likely response to impact. The consultative process has proved its ability to create agreed recommendations and conventions. Exten- sion of the various provisions to cover some of the pos- sible gaps mentioned above, and to deal with the impacts of possible minerals exploitation, should therefore be possible. Greater challenges lie in the need to demon- strate that these agreements can be implemented effec- tively in the face of conflicts of interest and economic pressures. This will require the wholehearted commitment of all the consultative parties and of any other govern- ments undertaking Antarctic activities. The WCS called on individual states to prepare national conservation strategies applying the broad concepts of the strategy to their own national circumstances. Such an approach is not appropriate in Antarctica--where some- thing much more significant lies within our grasp. we suggest that the general and specific actions set out above are the ingredients of a continental conservation - strategy embracing the philosophy of RecommendatiOnS VIII-13 and IX-5 of the treaty and the nine aims noted above. It would not be difficult to present the specific actions taken to date, together with the broad framework of an agreed policy to prevent environmental damage from minerals-related activities, in such a form. Such a consolidation would demonstrate in a unique way how a group of nations has been able to work together to care for the environment of an entire continent and would demonstrate the achievements of the treaty system. We believe that this would do much to explain a con- sistent program that has lasted for many Years. We sun- yesc Gnat wnat nas been achieved under the ATS is remark- able and gives grounds for optimism. system has been ahead of its time in pioneering the In many ways that

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210 preventative approach to environmental impact that is now widely accepted, for example, in the United Nations Environment Program. The central need now is for the various elements of the treaty system as an environmental mechanism to be bound together as a coherent whole and endorsed and applied by all national groups that pursue activities within the southernmost zones of the Earth. NOTES Holdgate, M. W. ed. 1970. Antarctic Ecology, Academic Press (London), 998 pp. Laws, R. M. ed. 1984. Antarctic Ecology, Academic Press (London). Holdgate, M. W. 1977. Terrestrial ecosystem in the Antarctic. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. B 279:525. 4. Knox, G. A. 1983. The living resources of the Southern Ocean: A scientific overview. In F. Orrego Vicuna, ed. Antarctic Resources Policy, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge). Holdgate, M. W. 1984. The use and abuse of polar environmental resources. Polar Rec. 22(136):25-48. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. 1984. Conservation and development of Antarctic Ecosystems, paper submitted to the U.N. Political Affairs Division. Inter- national Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Gland, Switzerland), p. 36. 7. See, for example, SCAR Manual (Cambridge). 1972. Scott Polar Research Institute, p. 128; SCAR Bulletins, published regularly as annexes to Polar Record. 8. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, U.N. Environment Program, World Wildlife Fund International. 1980. World Conservation Strategy. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Gland, Switzerland), p. 46. 9. Mitchell, B., J. Tinker. 1980. Antarctica and Its Resources, Ear thscan International Institute for Environment and Development (London), p. 98. 10. British Antarctic Survey. 1984. A Visitor 'S Introduction to the Antarctic and Its Environment, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council (Cambridge).