El Polo Norte en peligro

PARIS – Desde que la humanidad empezó a trazar mapas del mundo, los polos norte y sur nos han fascinado, tanto poética como científicamente. Pero, con excepción de unos pocos balleneros y exploradores, no mucha gente alguna vez fue allí para echar una mirada más de cerca. La quietud serena del Ártico y el Antártico era una perfecta combinación para la indiferencia humana. Sin embargo, el estallido del calentamiento global cambió todo.

Por supuesto, esa vieja indiferencia no era universal. En un raro esfuerzo de inteligencia política colectiva, y para evitar cualquier riesgo de un conflicto internacional, se firmó un tratado internacional en 1959 para gobernar la Antártida. Este tratado dedicaba la Antártida a fines exclusivamente pacíficos. Reconocía los reclamos territoriales existentes, los declaraba ampquot;congeladosampquot; y prohibía toda aseveración física de soberanía en el territorio de la Antártida.

La naturaleza y el contenido de ese tratado eran puramente diplomáticos. Sólo después de su ratificación surgieron las primeras cuestiones ambientales. Estas se incorporaron a un tratado revisado en 1972 por una convención sobre protección de las focas, seguida, en 1980, de una convención sobre preservación de la vida silvestre. Más importante, un protocolo firmado en Madrid en 1991 abordaba la protección del medio ambiente antártico.

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