12 November 2015:
With improving accessibility to Antarctica, the need for recognition, protection and management of geo-heritage sites is becoming increasingly important. Environmental protection and conservation practise in the Antarctic is managed by provisions contained within the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Whilst these provisions have been used primarily to protect sites of biological or cultural significance, sites of geological or geomorphological significance may also be considered. However, to date, sites of geological and geomorphological significance have not received the same attention as sites protecting other values, leaving much scope to improve protection of Antarctica’s geological heritage.
SCAR is pleased to announce the creation of the Geological Heritage and Geo-conservation Action Group to consider emerging concerns on the recognition, protection and ongoing management of geological and geomorphological sites of significance within the Antarctic, including fossils. Their goal is to develop a policy paper detailing their findings for submission to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting’s Committee for Environmental Protection.