Flandrensis is located on five small islands of the coasts of West Antarctica: Siple Island, Cherry Island, Maher Island, Pranke Island and Carney Island and based its claim on an interpretation of the Antarctic Treaty (1959). The treaty prohibits any nation from claiming Antarctic territory between 90-150° (West-Antarctica), but the treaty didn’t mention claims by individual persons. So Niels Vermeersch claimed the islands in his personal name and sent letters to the United Nations and to the nations who signed the Antarctic Treaty to inform them of his claim, thereafter he grant his islands to the Grand Duchy. All of these countries ignored the territorial claim of Flandrensis.
Siple Island is a 110 km long snow-covered island lying east of Wrigley Gulf along the Getz Ice Shelf off Bakutis Coast of Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica. Its area is 6,390 km² and it is dominated by the potentially active shield volcano Mount Siple, rising to 3,110 m making this the 17th ranking island in the world by maximum altitude. Carney Island is located between Siple Island and Wright Island along the coast of Marie Byrd Land, it’s an ice-covered island, 110 km long and about 8,500 km² in area. Nearby are located Maher Island, Cherry Island and Pranke Island.
We believe that Antarctica is one of the few places on this planet to remain relatively untouched by humans and we strongly believe that it should remain a nature preserve only available for scientific research well beyond the expiration of the Antarctic Treaty in 2048.
Antarctica and its surrounding waters are under pressure from a variety of forces that are already transforming the area, scientists warn.
The most immediate threats are regional warming, ocean acidification and loss of sea ice, all linked to global levels of carbon dioxide. Sea ice cover, crucial to the survival of virtually every animal that lives on and near the continent, already has been reduced by warming. Visits by tourists and other people also threaten to change Antarctica, as does the harvesting of animals like krill that are key to the Antarctic food chain. While the Antarctic Treaty forbids commercial mineral extraction on the continent, this provision is subject to change and doesn’t stop the countries that haven’t signed onto the treaty. The treaty also doesn’t prevent offshore exploration, which is becoming more feasible as technology advances and demand for oil and other resources grows.
While there’s less ice, there are more people and tourists who visits the Antarctic Peninsula and there is more scientific exploration for minerals and other resources. An increase in visitors means more disturbances to the fragile ecosystem, more pollution and more opportunities to bring organisms onto the continent from elsewhere in the world. Species also can be more directly affected. For example, fishing boats target krill and other species, stressing vulnerable populations.
Climate change in Antarctica will thus have dramatic effects both globally and locally – and perhaps harm some of the world’s most beloved species. Studies have found Antarctica has lost about 100 billion tonnes of continental ice a year since 1993, causing the global sea level to rise by about 0.2mm a year.
The territorial claims of the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis are a statement to the international community: Antarctica is one of the only places on earth that is not continuously inhabited by human beings and we want to keep that! Flandrensis is the only nation in this world that doesn’t want any people on its territory!