Past Events

Thursday, 14 July 2016: Exploring the Antarctic Treaty in 2056

On Thursday, 14 July 2016 NZAYC hosted a panel discussion Exploring the Antarctic Treaty in 2056 in collaboration with the McGuinness Institute. The panel discussed New Zealand’s intent in 1956 and then explored what our interest might look like 100 years later. It was fantastic to bring the Wellington ocean community together and build a narrative through the diverse range of thoughts.

We chose the year 2056 as this will mark 100 years since New Zealand first established its presence in Antarctica, which is important context for a discussion around our long term interest in the continent. In 1956, the Royal New Zealand Air Force scouted the route for New Zealand’s first Trans-Antarctic Expedition, and the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Endeavour set sail from the Port of Wellington with materials to start building Scott Base.

20160714---NZAYC---Lionel-Carter-[WEB]Lionel Carter shares this thoughts
on the geology and oceanography of Antarctica

The discussion highlighted a clear need to engage early with New Zealand’s role in the governance of Antarctica going forward. The Treaty presents a unique opportunity, and we need to work together to explore creative policy solutions today for officials to implement tomorrow.

Why 2056?
We chose the year 2056 as this will mark 100 years since New Zealand first established its presence in Antarctica, which is important context for a discussion around our long term interest in the continent. In 1956, the Royal New Zealand Air Force scouted the route for New Zealand’s first Trans-Antarctic Expedition, and the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Endeavour set sail from the Port of Wellington with materials to start building Scott Base.

Panellists:

Lionel CarteLionel_Carter_w150r
Professor of Marine Geology, Victoria University of Wellington

Trained in geology and oceanography at the universities of Auckland and British Columbia, Canada, Professor Lionel Carter has undertaken research in the North Atlantic, Pacific and Southern oceans. He helped set up major international projects in New Zealand including Ocean Drilling Program Leg 181 and the MARGINS “Source to Sink” initiative. More recently he participated in the Antarctic Drilling Programme (ANDRILL). Much of his research centres on deciphering marine geological records to identify ocean and climate changes. This research has contributed to the development of observational and numerical models that aid prediction of potential environmental responses to the present phase of climate warming. He applies the expertise gained in his marine geology and oceanography research to marine engineering projects, in particular the protection of the global submarine telecommunication network that underpins the internet and international communications. He is currently the Marine Environmental Advisor for the International Cable Protection Committee. In 2003 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and in 2012 was awarded the Marsden Medal for outstanding service to science. You can learn more about Professor Lionel Carter here.

Dr Neil Gilbert20160205 Neil Gilbert for website
Adjunct Senior Fellow at Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury

Neil has spent most of his career working on polar conservation issues. In 1985 he joined the British Antarctic Survey to undertake a programme of work on Antarctic near-shore marine ecology, completing his his PhD in 1991. Between 1991 and 1994 Neil continued his association with Antarctica in the role of permanent Base Commander for one of the UK’s Antarctic research stations.

After a period working for the UK government on marine impact studies, Neil joined the Polar Regions Section of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1997. In that capacity Neil worked on a wide range of polar environmental issues and represented the UK at meetings of the Antarctic Treaty and its Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP). He also represented the UK at numerous Arctic Council Senior Arctic Official and Ministerial meetings.

In 2003 Neil joined Antarctica New Zealand as Environmental Manager and continued to attend meetings of the CEP as New Zealand’s representative. Between 2006 and 2010 Neil served as Chair of the 35-country Committee.

In 2014 Neil established his own environmental consultancy company and has worked on a range of environmental, including Antarctic projects in that capacity. In addition to being involved in a wide-range of polar conservation initiatives, Neil holds an adjunct position at the University of Canterbury through which he teaches on a number of courses. Neil is also involved in a number of research projects focussing on human impacts in Antarctica.

Neil has a particular passion for evidence-based management and is also involved in a number of initiatives aimed at bringing the best available research knowledge to the attention of policy and decision makers.

Tim Naishtimothy-naish photo for bio
Director of Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington

 

 

 

Rear Admiral John MartinRear Admiral John Martin
Chief of Navy

 

 

 

Lou SansonLou Sanson
Director-General, Department of Conservation

 

 

 

Andrew Townend
Senior Legal Adviser at MFAT

Next steps
NZAYC will be producing a discussion paper touching upon some of the issues raised by the panel and audience, with an estimated publishing date of September 2016. We will also be publishing videos of the speakers’ discussions on the McGuinness Institute’s YouTube Channel

 

(a) Invitation to this event

20160628 - AYC Flyer [Final]

(b) PowerPoint presentation