Reference : Narrowing the science/policy gap for environmental management
Scientific journals : Other
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Narrowing the science/policy gap for environmental management
Hughes, Kevin A [> >]
Liggett, Daniela [> >]
Roldan, Gabriela [> >]
Wilmotte, Annick mailto [Université de Liège > Département des sciences de la vie > Physiologie et génétique bactériennes >]
Xavier, José C [> >]
Antarctic Science
Cambridge University Press
[en] Policy ; Scientific advice ; Environmental management ; Environmental protection ; Antarctica ; Madrid Protocol
[en] Antarctic terrestrial and marine environments are under increasing pressure from national operator
activities, tourism and climate change. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic
Treaty provides overarching legislation concerning the environmental management of the Treaty area, with
2016 marking the Protocol’s 25th anniversary. The Protocol also established the Committee for
Environmental Protection (CEP) to provide advice to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM)
on environmental matters. Today, the CEP’s Five-Year Work Plan and Climate Change Response Work
Programme lists and prioritises issues that need to be addressed to ensure impacts in Antarctica by human
activities are both recognized andminimised.Despite all of this, recent evaluations have suggested that a slow
pace of environmental policy development presents a significant threat to effective Antarctic conservation.
Progress on many environmental issues, including wildlife disturbance, the conservation status of Antarctic
species, area protection and pollution management, is glacial or has stalled completely. Whilst in some cases
capacity issues concerning those responsible for Antarctic environmental policy work may be a contributing
factor, the level of interaction between researchers and those responsible for environmental management and
decision-making is also of importance. Without quality science - and effective interpretation of research
results - policymakers have little evidence on which to base their decisions. But researchers need to know
policymakers’ needs. Two-way communication is essential: policymakers could ask the research community
to answer specific environmental questions, and, in turn, researchers could present evidence-based
recommendations and highlight emerging threats. But how is this to be funded? Ultimately, effective
communication is needed between national government departments responsible for funding Antarctic
research and those dealing with Antarctic environmental protection. Hopefully, this will ensure essential
research informing environmental policy decisions is adequately resourced. In reality, the cost is likely to be
trivial compared with the resources spent by Parties on Antarctic logistics.
Centre d'Ingénierie des Protéines - CIP
Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy ; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public
This is a guest editorial

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