Antarctica is the coldest, driest and possibly the most inhospitable place on Earth. It is also the only continent designated entirely as a natural reserve, used purely for peaceful and scientific purposes.
For many decades, Antarctica has been the final frontier for scientific research, governed by a treaty system signed in 1959, that protects the continent from exploitation and military action. But as countries begin to eye off Antarctica’s wealth of natural resources, will this be enough to stop territorial disputes in the region?
Tamson Pietsch speaks with Nick Rowley about democracy on Earth’s coldest continent.
Nick Rowley is an Adjunct Professor at the Sydney Democracy Network at the University of Sydney; he is currently working on a project on Antarctic decision-making.
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Image: flickr/Alan Light