Antarctica: environment, justice, sustainability & development
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This paper focuses on Antarctica and its status as a commons area with potential to facilitate both the human rights objectives and development agendas of global south states. It suggests that, using a combined and complementary environmental justice, just sustainability and cosmopolitan democracy (EJJSCD) framework, global south states can advance a human rights-based approach to development using monies generated from resource extraction in Antarctic waters. In this framework, environmental justice, just sustainability, and cosmopolitan democracy serve as new or emerging paradigms that offer previously untried ways of addressing issues of inter and intra-generational equity, democracy beyond borders, marginalization of global south states in environmental governance regimes, and lack of ongoing capital funding for development projects (both large and small scale) in the global south. The paper argues that the uncertain legal status of Antarctica, the presence of two separate, overlapping legal regimes in the area south of 60º South (the Antarctic Treaty System and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)), and rapid technological advances have permitted resource extraction in the form of bio-prospecting to occur without appropriate environmental governance oversight or regulation. This opens up opportunities for global south states, building both upon the concept of sustainable development embedded in the Brundtland Commission report and their common rights and development objectives, to collectively press for regulation of the industry and equitable benefit-sharing from resource extraction utilizing the EJJSCD framework in order to achieve the vital outcomes outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals.