PUBLIC TALK: Charting courses through the Ice – Envisioning Antarctic Futures
|Charting courses through the Ice – Envisioning Antarctic Futures
A public lecture by Dr Daniela Liggett, Centre for Antarctic Studies and Research (Gateway Antarctica), University of Canterbury and 2019 UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.
A mere few centuries ago, the icy continent to our South was the subject of speculation and imagination. In many ways, Antarctica was beyond the grasp of human understanding – it was an unexplored, unknown land, a terra incognita. In the span of a few hundred years, the Antarctic was discovered, mapped and the surrounding ocean’s resources were exploited – what was terra incognita became terra nullius and later, in anthropologist Jessica O’Reilly’s words a terra clima, with Antarctica not only representing a bellwether for global environmental change but also a hotspot for climate science. The continent’s future is uncertain and once again subject to much speculation.
This presentation, which discusses the results of a collaborative research project, explores four “possibility spaces” within which Antarctic futures might unfold. These are defined by differing interactions between two interdependent variables: the level of human engagement with Antarctica, and the strength of Antarctic governance through the Antarctic Treaty System. Dr Liggett will discuss the many dimensions of anticipated developments in Antarctic governance, tourism and research and identify key drivers behind them and explore four alternate scenarios for Antarctic futures: a collaborative-conservationist, a collaborative-exploitative, an individualistic-conservationist and an individualistic-exploitative scenario. She will argue that the first two require determined efforts to reach, ie a “push”. The other two seem inevitable if lethargy among Antarctic Treaty Parties prevails. Consequently, the Parties will need to ask themselves how they might ‘shape’ the Antarctic future. The answers are likely to affect the rest of the world.
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