In 2041 the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty will expire.
This unique international agreement protects the largely untouched seventh continent from commercial exploitation of its natural resources, thereby ensuring the preservation of the southern polar ecosystem. With the introduction of the treaty, all claims of ownership by other countries to Antarctic territory were frozen.
Up to now the Antarctic has been naturally protected by its mantle of ice, which made the extraction of its natural resources difficult. But now the ice is starting to melt and the expiration date of the treaty is slowly approaching.
This poses urgent questions: What are the chances of the accord being renewed? Is a peacekeeping treaty still wanted? And have the decisions concerning the agreement’s future perhaps already been made?
The search for answers is starting, and is publicly accessible in a blog. Piece by piece, clues and knowledge about the developments will come together in a kaleidoscope of the different parties of interest involved in the future of our last intact ecosystem on earth. And gaps in the coverage will reveal more than they hide. Social networks will be used to assist in the process of research and in the discovery of new information, and a web documentary will later pursue individual stories in greater depth.
Cecilia Antoni is a video journalist and freelance author living in Berlin. In 2012 her Verkannt-Verbannt-Zurückgeholt: Hülsenfrüchte was nominated for the Academy for Sustainable Development’s Future Prize.