"Reinvigorating Peru's Role in Antarctic Geopolitics"
W. Alejandro Sanchez and Otto Raul Tielemans Jr.
The Polar Journal
Volume 5, Issue 1 2015
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Peru has lagged in expanding its miniscule operations in the Antarctic. With neighbours such as Russia and China consistently appropriating greater resources towards its Antarctic bases, Peru can only lay claim to a seasonally operating base and naval vessel capable of annual expeditions to the frozen continent. The lack of investment in the region is crippling to the Andean nation, diminishing its presence and potential influence in the region. With the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 potentially up for revision in 2048, it is in Peru’s national interest to cement, promote and protect its fragile presence in Antarctica. As such, this essay will not only discuss Peru’s historical interactions with the Antarctic dating back to the 1970s, but it will also seek to highlight recent expeditions, including a visit by President Humala to Antarctica in 2013. It is the opinion of the authors that Peruvian initiatives in the Antarctic have been minimalist and insufficient to cement its role as relevant player in Antarctic geopolitics. Furthermore, this essay provides recommendations regarding what initiatives Lima can execute in the near future to not only increase its presence but also showcase it to the world. These suggestions include obtaining a second vessel, establishing a permanent base and promoting Peruvian scientific research regarding the Antarctic to the international academic community and even low-cost initiatives such as utilising the Internet to promote Peru’s Antarctic history and contributions to the protection of this important region.