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- Published: 04 February 2015
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Did you know that West-Antarctica is one of the only places on earth that is not continuously inhabited by human beings? We want to keep that!
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, researchers 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. In 2013 nearly 20.000 tourists visited the Antarctic Peninsula, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. There are also more researchers, and there is more 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.
Flandrensis role in Antarctica
Until 2048 Antarctica is protected against greedy countries that only wants the mineral sources of the white continent. Human pollution and the barbaric hunting on animals are a great danger to the flora and fauna in Antarctica! And in Flandrensis we believe that Antarctica is and must remain a scientific nature reserve! It is our dream to achieve some international reputation to protect the Antarctic environment against those countries.
Flandrensis has one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet, yet there is no single organization dedicated to studying and preserving this vast, magnificent, desolate region. The Grand Duchy of Flandrensis is a worldwide community of people who are passionate in Antarctica. Our campaigns are small but realistic on micronational level:
- Flandrensis is dedicated to letter writing campaigns to make governments and organizations around the world take notice of the dire situation in West-Antarctica
- Flandrensis is a supporter of several international Antarctic organizations like the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance, Save the Arctic (Greenpeace), Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, etc. Information and updates about those organizations are published amongst Flandrensisians worldwide.
- The Ministry of Antarctic Environment organizes several small campaigns to make citizens aware of the climate changes: promoting renewable energy sources and energy efficiency , avoid chemical products, promoting alternatives for transport by car, composting kitchen scraps and garden trimmings, recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass, etc. It’s amazing that some of the smallest, easiest steps leads to big changes/differences.