As a biodiversity hotspot, scientific activities in Antarctica, the islands and the Southern Ocean have never been more exciting. The controversial issues of tourism, krill harvesting, bio prospecting and mining, the avenues for law research; the possibility of a virtual national facility or ‘Antarctic institute’; the opportunities offered by competitive advantage; the threat of pollution; research into other human impacts and plans to draw industry into the SANAP equation, all presents research opportunities.
Five thematic (vertical) areas were prioritised for research programmes:
- Oceans and marine ecosystems under global change
- Earth systems observations
- Ecosystems, biodiversity and biodiscovery
- Innovation and development
- Human Enterprise