Assessment of Institutional and Policy Framework to Strengthen Malaysia’s Antarctica Research Program
Assoc.Prof. Dr.Norizan Md Nor,Dr.Ahmad Hezri Adnan, Prof.Kanayathu Chacko Koshy,Prof Mashhor Mansor, Assoc.Prof.Dr.Wan Maznah Wan Omar, Ahmad Firdaus bin Ahmad Shabudin
The Antarctica continent is an integral part of the global earth system. Studying the Antarctic may provide an early warning of important planetary changes. Even though knowledge about climate development and biodiversity in the Antarctica is important for sustainability, it is still thus far limited and requires more international collaborations. There are three main factors constraining research endeavours in the Antarctic – its geographical isolation combined with the harshness of its climate; the prohibitive cost of undertaking expeditions; and restricted access to research in Antarctica due to the political architecture of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). Malaysia has been actively engaged in negotiations regarding the ATS since 1982. Specifically, it has argued that Antarctica is a priceless human heritage of global stature and must be protected and shared equally by all nations. Over the years, Malaysia’s position on the ‘Question of Antarctic’ has evolved from challenging the ATS to a constructive engagement with the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Party. More recently, Malaysia appears set to ratify the Antarctic Treaty. This move begs a number questions regarding institutional and policy framework for Antarctic research. Four research objectives guide this research namely: strategic implications for foreign policy following the ratification of the Antarctic Treaty; assessment of the capacity needs of Malaysian scientists; costs and benefits of policy options regarding institutionalization of Antarctica research; and policy recommendations in the form of a long-term science management.
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