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KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima

Polar Alien Hunters A science communication initiative to increase biosecurity education in Antarctica

Awarded: NOK 0.42 mill.

As the continent least touched by humans, Antarctica is humanities last chance to demonstrate pre-emptive responsibility to the environment. Yet, we cannot achieve this without first educating those who visit. There is no singular biosecurity campaign in Antarctica to educate visitors on the risks of non-native species introduction. Indeed, some countries have no biosecurity information at all, whilst others do, but lack personal engagement and implementation. Polar Alien Hunters is the first cross-sector communication campaign that aims to tackle these issues in Antarctica. It will be an educational biosecurity campaign using comics to highlight the issue of invasive species in Antarctica, researchers who study them, and what we can do to keep our last great wilderness pristine. Our key goal is to get educational material to visitors before they get to Antarctica, ensuring that they do not accidentally take any 'aliens' with them on their trip. We shall do this by creating engaging and fun comics that instruct and educate both tourists and researchers on the risks of introducing an alien species and what personal responsibility they have to carry out our biosecurity steps. Working alongside international Antarctic organisations such as SCAR and IAATO, and in collaboration with both Norwegian and British Antarctic programmes, we will communicate and educate visitors through comics and graphic illustrations. Whilst challenging to tackle such an issue at an international level, we are encouraged by the support of our stakeholders and the requested need from the Antarctic programes. Antarctica is a fertile breeding ground for numerous, multi-national success stories in conservation that have been adopted elsewhere in the world: evidence-based policy making and ecosystem-focused fisheries management both have their origins in Antarctic management. It is therefore a perfect environment to test out an international, cross-sector approach to tackling invasive species.

Funding scheme:

KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima