Students can learn about Antarctic legislation under the Antarctic Treaty, the context and the modern challenges. Students can gain an understanding of the conservation measures and challenges faced within Antarctica, under the Treaty and what science is currently conducted for the good of all.
Within this unit students will be able to:
understand the issues of economics vs environment
understand selected environmental and political issues
understand values/attitudes involved in decision making of the use and management of the environment and resources
understand environmental management strategies
consider issues of environmental sustainability, global citizenship and conservation
skills of analysis, decision making, research, presentation, evaluation
4.1 The Antarctic Treaty
Students can learn about the international political context of the Antarctic Treaty including the different articles within the Treaty. The Antarctic Treaty is very different from other agreements in that no military use is permitted, science comes before economic gain, that nations really co-operate for the good of all and sovereignty is put aside. Students are given an opportunity to consider the Antarctic Treaty and to think about other forms of governance worldwide. In most other countries/regions/treaties economic gain comes before the environment and differences may be settled with military action.
Having completed the activities in Warm Up. Students can complete the Antarctica quiz to consolidate the history and aims of the Treaty.
1. The CCAMLR boundaries are much larger than the Antarctic Treaty boundaries and include sub – Antarctic areas because of the migratory nature of many of the fauna
Within the introduction, students can read about the context of conservation within Antarctica and how it has evolved during the 20th Century to reflect changing attitudes towards the environment. This includes the various resolutions and agreements as well as areas of special protection.
This activity is designed to highlight the number and range of endangered or vulnerable species in and around Antarctica.
Endangered species are species which are at risk from becoming extinct because of few numbers or threatened with changing environment or predator parameters.
Vulnerable species are species which are at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve.
The chart shows the increasing number of sea birds that are endangered or vulnerable. Seabirds are more threatened than any other species group of bird. This warm up introduces students to the larger scale of endangered species and then focuses in on sea birds and more specifically albatross.
This section provides a case study on the albatross. Factual information is provided to learn more about the albatross, why it is endangered and what conservation methods have been implemented to try and halt the decline of the albatross. There are charts and graphs provided for students to focus in on the plight of the Wandering Albatross. Students consider this chart and graph material more thoroughly within the student activities.
Students are able to learn the basics or click on links to other resources to learn more in-depth information. There crossovers with the overfishing materials found in the Sustainability section. Students are also able to learn the context of the Antarctic Treaty as well as other agreements which impact on the conservation of the albatross.
1-5. Students are able to consider and analyse information and data concerning the survival of the albatross. Students are able to make links with economic activities (fishing) and its impact on the bird life of the Southern Ocean. Questions 1-5 provide opportunities for discussion, especially in considering the challenges in conserving the albatross. Question 5 would stretch more able students and would encourage a more thorough examination of the linking materials provided in Cold Facts. Within these tasks students can become familiar with appropriate geographical and scientific vocabulary.
6. Students are able to learn in more detail about the conservation methods that can be employed by the fishing industry to protect the albatross. This has crossovers with the overfishing materials in the next section. Students can use research skills, skills of analysis and interpretation and evaluation as well to try and devise their own opinions about the topic. Students can learn how economic gains can impact negatively on the environment and the importance of issues of citizenship in terms of preserving endangered animals for the future.
Students can learn about what science is conducted on Antarctica and how it has global significance to help solve global issues such as global warming. Students can become familiar with the British Antarctic Survey.
Students become familiar with Article II of the Antarctic Treaty and what activities are being conducted by scientists on Antarctica.