We are taking action to protect Antarctica from Australia’s environmentally devastating runway proposal.
The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) is currently in the planning and assessment phase for a new concrete runway, the first of its kind, at Davis Station in Antarctica.
The proposed runway will have enormous environmental impacts in the Antarctic. At 2.7km long, combined with the infrastructure required for construction, it will increase all nations' total disturbance footprint on the Antarctic continent by an estimated extraordinary 40%.
Australia has long been viewed as an environmental leader in Antarctica. After all, the Australian government urged against mining in the Antarctic in the late '80s. g
It is even part of Australia's 20-year action plan to "minimise the environmental impact of Australia's activities" in the Antarctic.
The runway is at complete odds with this goal.
The proposed runway will:
– Require more than three million cubic metres of earthworks - levelling 60 vertical metres of hills and valleys along the length of the runway, causing massive dust emissions on the windiest continent in the world.
– Cause significant disturbance to nearby Weddell Seal breeding colonies with unknown or poorly understood ramifications.
– Cause significant impacts on nearby Adelie Penguin colonies with eight breeding areas near the runway listed as important bird areas.
– Displace Wilsons Storm Petrels that nest near the site.
– Cause irreparable damage to adjacent lakes.
– Require incredible logistics to get materials and construction workers on site. All of which requires massive use of fossil fuels and energy and astronomical costs.
The Bob Brown Foundation is adamantly opposed to this project. We call on the Australian Antarctic Division and the Australian Government to abandon plans to build this monstrous concrete runway in the Antarctic and instead focus on protecting the icy continent, not destroying it.
When it comes to having a concrete runway built in Antarctica, or even planning one, we need to let them know that we say: Runway, No Way!
We are at the very start of this campaign, but please follow along, both here and on social media, and stay tuned for ways you can get involved as we fight this terrible idea.