The threat of armed conflict in Antarctica was averted by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty but it wasn¹t long before another threat loomed in the form of mining. If it was to be permitted it would end Antarctica¹s status as the world¹s last great wilderness. A minerals convention was negotiated but, as one of the decision makers in the Antarctic Treaty system, Australia could veto it if it wished.
This book tells the story of how in May 1989 the Australian Government did decide to block the minerals convention and work instead for a new environmental protection agreement the 1991 Madrid Protocol. The focus is on the leading role played by the Australian Conservation Foundation in bringing about this decision.
As you will discover there was a long build up to eventual success and many obstacles along the way to overcome including the pessimism of some and the distraction of the main international conservation organisation from a helpful role. With mining defeated the fight goes on - to have Antarctica included on the World Heritage List.
To a world and an environment movement facing even bigger challenges the lessons from this struggle are invaluable.