Working Plan Proposal for the Review of the Admiralty Bay Antarctic Specially Managed Area Management Plan (ASMA No. 1)
Working Plan Proposal for the Review of the Admiralty Bay Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA No. 1) Management Plan Information Paper Submitted by Brazil Summary Brazil has been assigned to coordinate the implementation of the Management Plan for the Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) No. 1, Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetland Archipelago (herein called the Area) for a five year period. During this period, several management activities occurred. Those activities will be reported at the ATCM XXXV CEP side meeting on the ASMA. The objective of this IP is to propose a working plan for the review of ASMA No.1 Management Plan in agreement with all its members.
Introduction Under Annex 5 of the Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection (herein called Protocol), Brazil and Poland, in coordination with Ecuador and Peru, proposed a Management Plan for designating Admiralty Bay and its surroundings as an ASMA. The Plan was adopted at the XX Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), in Utrecht, 1996. Poland and Brazil respectively operate an all-year round stations (Poland: Henryk Arctowski Station at Thomas Point; and Brazil: Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station at Keller Peninsula). Peru and United States operate two summer stations (Peru: Machu Picchu at Crepin Point; USA: Copacabana at Llano Point). Ecuador has a refuge at Hennequin Point. There are several small removable and permanent installations elsewhere.
The Area includes one ASPA (ASPA Nº 128 Western Shore of Admiralty Bay – former SSSI Nº 8) and one Historic Monument (N° 51: a grave) at Arctowski Station.
Baselines for the working plan proposal The five Management Group members should establish a timetable and assign tasks to its members in order to submit a Revised Management Plan at the ATCM XXXVI in 2013. Moreover, the group should discuss management activities to be reviewed before the Management Plan is presented. Since 2006, the Group has held meetings in the Area and has reported it to the CEP X, by the IP 62. Thereafter, environmental indicators were listed, according to a multidisciplinary task developed in the Area by Brazil. The effort was improved afterwards within the scope of the National Science and Technology Institute on Antarctic Environmental Research (INCT-APA, acronym in Portuguese), and indicators for impact assessments were reviewed – ANNEX I. Those environment indicators need further discussion with all members of the Area.
The ASMA website (www.admiraltybayasma.aq), created in 2008, needs to be improved. By doing so, the information on the Management Plan will circulate more efficiently to all Parties operating in the Area and to visitors. Furthermore, all Parties are welcomed to update this page as appropriate. This would require a registered access to the website. Peru and Poland proposed to make internal consultations to run the website. A virtual forum within the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat website should be created, as proposed in the ASMA informal side meeting to the CEP XIII (2010).
Additional meetings between ASMA members should occur more often. The meetings would improve communications to discuss management issues. Those meetings could be held as side events of the Antarctic Treaty System meetings (e.g., ATCM-CEP, SCAR, SCAR Biology Symposium and others). Actors such as IAATO, ASOC, CCAMLR, if agreed by all Parties, should participate in the discussions regarding to the management of the ASMA through representation (observers and / or contributors), as recommended in WP 61, CEP 7f, “Report of the CEP Workshop on Marine and Terrestrial Antarctic Specially Managed Areas”, Montevideo, Uruguay, 16-17 June 2011. Despite being absent in this meeting, Brazil endorses its recommendations.
Maps and the zonation system need to be reviewed on the basis of the zonation scheme proposed in the CEP XIII, in 2009. The zones might need separate Codes of Conduct, according to the zonation scheme used. Bearing in mind the experience of IAATO and other Antarctic Treaty observers in Antarctica, the review of the Management Plan could benefit from their participation in the intersessional discussion. Regarding zonation of ecological and scientific interests, Brazil has prepared a zonation document for visitors, operators and scientists on the Keller Peninsula. Poland and USA, countries that worked in the ASPA 128 for more than 30 years, should contribute to the zonation of ecological and scientific interests in this ASPA. Nevertheless all the countries in the ASMA Area should participate in the effort.
All activities (tourism, scientific and operational) should be informed to the management group prior to field season well in advance. Coordinators of scientific sampling programs should be informed of any activities, as sampling designs might need reviewing. By doing so, the Parties can avoid duplication of work and minimize the human impacts in the Area.
Online data publication (e.g., www.antabif.be; Admiralty Bay Benthos Database – www.abbed.uni.lodz.pl, and other databases) must be encouraged and should include physical and chemical data information related to all study fields (atmospheric, terrestrial, including aquatic terrestrial, and marine).
The record of activities in the Area, maintained within the ATS information exchange website, needs to be improved. At the Uruguay ASMA management plan meeting, prior to the ATCM XXXIV, reports on commercial fishing within the ASMA came to light. The activity occurred without notice, nor coordination with the scientific programs. This procedure can implicate in the validity of any scientific results in the Area. The record of activities should also include any commercial fishing well in advance. The discussion could benefit from a CCAMLR observer.
All Parties could benefit from more transparency. For instance, decision-making would be improved by the publicity of the Parties contingency plans. Brazil has reported Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station (EACF, acronym in Portuguese) contingency plans in the past, ATCM XXVI, IP 25. Furthermore, Brazil has monitored its potential local impacts since 2002, and the main results were published, although further data are currently being prepared for publication (ANNEX II). It is important to notice that Poland and Brazil have recently gathered over thirty years of benthic data from the Area published in a Census of Antarctic Marine Life, special Deep Sea Research Part II issue. Other joint publications initiatives in the Area should be encouraged.
Brazil has continued to monitor waste disposal and other potential human impacts such as gas emissions, noise and oil contamination. There have been two activity reports on the main environmental assessments made during the past intercessional period provided by the INCT-APA (in English), which include education and outreach activities (INCT-APA 2010, 2011). It would be relevant that all Parties update their information about their main activities, and promote intersessional means to review the Management Plan for the ASMA.
Proposed Activities The following working plan is proposed to review ASMA No.1 Management Plan:
1. ASMA Parties should meet as a side group at the ATCM XXXV / CEP XV to set a plan of work:
c. establish means (e.g., workshop, discussion forum) to review the Management Plan, where all Parties should provide all the necessary information (e.g., results including recommendations from the ASPA discussion, environmental assessments, scientific results related to human activities) for this purpose.
2. Create a discussion forum in the Secretariat website.
3. Promote other meetings to revisit all stations and refuges during the next summer season.
4. Prepare the reviewed Management Plan to be presented at the CEP XVI at the ATCM XXXVI.
Contact Dr. Jaqueline Madruga, Brazilian Environment Ministry, is currently responsible for the ASMA management transition proposal.
Address: Secretaria de Biodiversidade e Florestas - Ministério do Meio Ambiente SEPN 505 Lote 02 Bloco B Ed. Marie Prendi Cruz, Sala 402
Phone number: + 55 61 2028.2291
ANNEX I. Indicators proposed for the management at Antarctic Specially Managed Area of Admiralty Bay (ASMA #1)
CO2,CO, O3, NO2, CH4
Artificially produced chemicals and greenhouse gases emitted in the industrial era just reacting and dramatically affecting the chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere, producing environmental impacts such as a slow and progressive concentration of ozone at all latitudes and the increase of surface temperature Earth.
Global, radiation balance, UV
Studies have shown that the solar radiation can alter the physical-chemical properties of the atmosphere and can influence the wind regime and the amount of UV radiation which reaches the earth surface, as well as the cloud coverage and precipitation.
Atmospheric black carbon monitoring at King George Island and detected in ice core layers of Antarctic Peninsula have revealed marked influence of biomass burning events from both South America and Australia
Heavy metals attached to aerosols microparticles and deposited in lake sediments have predominantly demonstrated the impact of human occupation in Antarctica
Atmospheric dispersion of pollutants
Atmospheric dispersion models applied to pollutant emissions in Antarctica were able to discriminate background sites and characterize impacted ice free areas with terrestrial biota at different contamination levels.
wind, temperature, humidity, pressure
Monitoring of meteorological parameters are necessary as supplementary information on the variation of atmospheric parameters for the impact of these changes in the atmosphere and the environment
biochemical, cellular and histopathological biomarkers
Biomarkers are useful for the detection of biochemical and cellular response to anthropogenic contamination in aquatic systems
T, S, DO, pH, N, P, silicate, chlorophyll a
Used to verify the physical-chemical conditions of the marine environment, freshwater discharge and calculate other indicators
methane flux/biological methane balance
Methane is a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect and it is one of the final products of microbial transformation of organic matter in anoxic conditions
Clostridium, microbial molecular structure
Clostridium is an indicator of fecal contamination. Microbial communities respond quickly to environmental disturbances. The diversity indexes can be useful on the evaluation of ecological dynamics and disturbance impacts
The sediment benthic fauna is a component of the marine biota widely used in environmental impact studies, especially in coastal areas. Trophic web tracers are used for monitoring sewage pollution and eutrophication
hydrocarbons, faecal sterols, LABs, heavy metals
The chemical indicators have been used as an important tool for monitoring petroleum, faecal and domestic effluents pollution. The heavy metals are often associated with the human activity
waste types, volume, weight, per capita residue production
Monitoring the solid residue and its relationship with the resident population makes it possible to identify the main sources as a function of the type of activities carried out and, from annual results, look for actions aiming at residues reduction
volume, faecal coliforms
Microbiological indicators can be used to monitor the sewage treatment system and to assess soil contamination.
The fuel consumption has a direct relationship with specific needs, the quality of the fuel, the efficiency of the equipments, storage conditions and appropriate use
levels of noise during the routine and maintenances of station
the cleaning procedures of the corroded parts has caused considerable acoustic impact and generate a lot of residues
temporal analyses of images from the stations areas
Although landscape evaluation must also consider the dynamic scenario, parameters and methods that can be applied to this specific situation in Antarctica were not established
variations in the extension of glaciers
Variations in the extension of glaciers can be verified through remote sensing. Geomorphological features (extension or retraction) related to climate change can be observed in aerial photographs, allowing comparative analyses of periodical variation.
heterotrophic bacteria, microbial community molecular structure
Soil contamination can also be assessed through counts of heterotrophic bacteria. Microbial community structure analysis provides important baseline data and allows for long term impact studies resulting from the introduction of contaminants.
vegetation coverage retraction, biodiversity of the vegetation community
Plant communities are the first to be affected by the degradation in the terrestrial environment. The increase in the thawing area over the last few years is an important factor for the monitoring of the plant community evolution, due to a larger visual exposure of vegetated areas selected for monitoring.
population size, distribution and breeding success of birds
Birds often occupy the top position of the food web. By evaluating the fluctuations and trends of bird population in the interactive process of the Admiralty Bay it is possible to evaluate its environmental quality
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