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 Grand Duchy of Flandrensis is not an NGO like Greenpeace or WWF with enough funds to launch campaigns. Flandrensis is a micronation and we remain realistic, but we believe that small actions together can make a difference to climate change.
Small actions = big change
In Flandrensis we encourage our citizens to reduce their carbon footprints with small but easy steps. Our ecological pillars are:
- Reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission: going to work on foot, by bicycle, or by public transport, use electrical power produced from renewable sources, etc.
- Reduce Water consumption: always use water in a reasonable way!
- Recycle: including electrical and electronic consumables, paper, toner, iron, aluminum PET, glass, plastic, etc.
- Local Food: buy from local farms or farmers markets whenever possible.
Letters to governments and organisations
We send protest letters to governments or companies who violate environmental agreements in Antarctica or who threaten the already fragile eco-system (whale hunting, mining, pollution, tourism, sport events, etc.
But we also send letters of appreciation to people and organizations who protect the white continent.
In 2016 the Ministry of Antarctic affairs, environment & climate change has started to evaluate the environmental policies of all countries in the world, in 2018 the Flandrensian Government already send letters to 52 countries.
Promotion of ecological micronationalism
Flandrensis is the co-author of several charters like the Alcatraz Environmental Accord (2014), the Micronational Ecological Charter (2016) and the Micronational Declaration on Ecological Stewardship (2017).
Running a micronation!
Flandrensis is more than an ecological movement. Although our message is more important than our self-declared sovereignty, we do our best to develop our micronation as professional as possible. We manage the micronation on a serious level and encourage our citizens to develop their talents in politics, diplomacy, media, economy, etc. and Flandrensis is an ambassador to promote micronationalism. With more than 10 years of experience we encourage and support people to start their own micronation, because micronationalism is one of the best ways to develop talents and creativity … and more important: it’s fun!