Introduction: The Madrid Protocol 1998–2018. The need to address ‘the success syndrome’

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    This introduction to the special issue part of this issue of The Polar Journal takes the great success of the adoption of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty in 1991 as a starting point. Next, it discusses some criticism in the literature regarding the progress that has been made to implement the Protocol and the adoption of additional measures to ensure a comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment since the entry into force of the Protocol in 1998. It appears that the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) suffers from ‘the Success Syndrome’, a syndrome well known to very successful artists and companies: a great success leads to high expectations which the artist or company subsequently struggles to meet. Indeed, while the ATCM has had additional smaller successes since 1998, from various perspectives the Consultative Parties have not been able to meet the high expectations set by the Protocol’s aims and provisions. Based on the articles in this special issue, some of the setbacks are identified. Whether the ATCM will be able to address the Success Syndrome in the years to come is uncertain, but it may prove to be necessary to take some unusual steps to get back on the ‘path of success’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-240
    Number of pages11
    JournalThe Polar Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


    • Antarctica
    • Antarctic Treaty
    • Madrid Protocol
    • environmental protection
    • consensus
    • non-decision-making
    • wilderness
    • historic values
    • marine protection
    • enforcement
    • ATCM
    • CEP


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