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    Preliminary proposal for designation an Antarctic Specially Protected Area in the Argentine Islands Archipelago and nearby Graham Coast Antarctic Peninsula region

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    SC-CAMLR-38/BG/21 Rev. 1
    Author(s):
    Delegation of Ukraine
    Submitted By:
    Dr Kostiantyn Demianenko (Ukraine)
    Approved By:
    Dr Kostiantyn Demianenko (Ukraine)
    Abstract

    Ukraine is planned to establish the Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) at the region of Argentine Islands Archipelago, adjacent islands of the Wilhelm Archipelago and costal oases of nearby Graham Coast Antarctic Peninsula (short abbreviation – AIGC ASPA). This ASPA will include the terrestrial area with marine component, which consists of inter-island water areas within the central group of the Argentine Islands Archipelago as well as CEMP sites managed by Ukraine. Since 2003 Ukraine has provided research and monitoring at the Argentine Islands Archipelago, including terrestrial survey of almost all islands, and ice-free areas at Mainland. The distribution of different vegetation: moss, fields, lichens and vascular plants are being continuously studied in details. The general distribution of sea birds, mammals, penguin colonies, and nesting places localization are also investigated. Additionally, underwater and acoustic surveys, chemical analyses of bottom sediments and soils of nearshore areas are provided during many years. There are three main elements are planned to include into the planned ASPA. The ASPA marine component will be based on information on the state of marine benthic community, which has been collected by scuba divers during several season expeditions and during winter time. The AIGC ASPA will also include the fast growing gentoo penguin colonies, which is monitored by time-lapse cameras according the CEMP project 'Establishing a CEMP Camera Network in Subarea 48.1', run by USA, Argentina, Australia, Poland and Ukraine. The CEMP cameras monitoring covers the gentoo and Adélie penguin colonies at Galindez and Petermann Islands, Adélie colony at Yalour Islands. The proposed area includes also different biotopes of central part of maritime Antarctica with different vegetation, and populations of very rare in the region Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae), and more often Deschampsia antarctica (Poaceae). The monitoring of these vegetation areas has long history established by British Antarctic Survey expeditions since 1957 and continued by Ukrainian Antarctic expeditions since 1996. This planned ASPA with a combination of mainly terrestrial and additional marine component could serve as one of the scientific reference areas of the broad-scale MPA in Domain 1 (Antarctic Peninsula) for assessing the effects of climate change on benthic communities, penguin populations and distribution (in accordance with the point 2 (iii) of the CM 91-04).

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