Managing the risks facing cold environments

Cold environments provide one of the last wilderness areas on Earth and have fragile ecosystems. Economic development puts these ecosystems at serious risk of damage and therefore these areas need to be protected. Striking a balance between economic developments and protecting cold environments can be achieved through careful management. Some of these management strategies include:

  • Technology used to access minerals and fossil fuels should be managed carefully to avoid the destruction of wilderness areas. Sustainable development which involves the use of appropriate technology for the environment could provide a solution.
  • Governments play a key role in ensuring that technology is used responsibly in cold environments. They have the power to create laws which state how cold environments can and should be used. These laws can be supported by different countries through the use of international agreements.
  • International agreements allow standards to be set to ensure that economic development does not happen at the expense of the environment. For example the Antarctica Treaty is supported and recognised by 53 countries (2016).
  • Conservation groups can put pressure on governments not to exploit the resources found in cold environments. Many conservation groups believe that cold environments should be protected from any human activity so that they can remain in a pristine condition. This management strategy does not allow for any economic development.
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