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Overcrowding in Antarctica

Overcrowding in Antarctica

Overcrowding is a serious concern, and some of the side effects are increases in production and travel, which contribute to climate change in a big way. We may even be forced to invade Antarctica if the current trends remain. If there will be overcrowding in Antarctica, we must have to raise our hands and advocate efforts to reduce the impact.

According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), the total number of visitors travel­ling to the continent with its members during the 2022-23 season was 71,285, up nearly 10 per cent year-on-year.

Commercial Interest Threatens Antarctic Protection

Rising commercial interest in the Southern Ocean’s resources poses a challenge to conservation efforts in Antarctica. Delegates from 27 countries, including India, will meet in Santiago, Chile, to discuss Antarctica. Researchers note alarming heating in Antarctica and its surrounding Southern Ocean.

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Conservation Efforts to counter Overcrowding in Antarctica

Points of Contention

  • Abundant natural resources, including minerals and marine life, are a major point of conflict.
  • The region contains a high concentration of Antarctic krill, valuable as fish feed, leading to competition among countries for profit.
  • Some nations question the need for protection, especially for organisms not considered threatened.
  • Concerns exist that proposing MPAs could be a tactic for securing sovereign control over Antarctic waters.
  • MPAs established in remote areas might serve as a way for countries to meet the Global Biodiversity Framework’s targets for conservation by 2030.

Way Forward

G20 commits to protecting the Antarctic historic shift by superpowers to allay biodiversity and climate crises. India has expressed support for MPAs in the Weddell Sea and East Antarctica. MPAs offer a way to benefit from Antarctic resources while also conserving them.

Read Also: Antarctica or ‘Terra Australis’

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