The Princess Elisabeth StationAware of the increasing impact of human activities on the Earth system, Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo) launched in 1997 a research programme in support of a sustainable development policy. This umbrella programme included the Belgian Scientific Programme on Antarctic Research. The International Polar Foundation, an organization led by the civil engineer and explorer Alain Hubert, was commissioned by the Belgian Federal government in 2004 to design, construct and operate a new Belgian Antarctic Research Station as an element under this umbrella programme. The station was to be designed as a central location for investigating the characteristic sequence of Antarctic geographical regions (polynia, coast, ice shelf, ice sheet, marginal mountain area and dry valleys, inland plateau) within a radius of 200 kilometers (approx.124 miles) of a selected site. The station was also to be designed as "state of the art" with respect to sustainable development, energy consumption, and waste disposal, with a minimum lifetime of 25 years. The goal of the project was to build a station and enable science. So first we needed some basic requirements, which I have listed here; plus we had to finance the station ourselves. Our most important requirement was that we decided to make it a zero emissions station. This was both a philosophical choice as we thought it more consistent with Antarctic Treaty obligations and it was also a logistical advantage. If you are using renewable energy sources, you do not have to bring in all the fuel.
Berte, Johan (International Polar Foundation Brussels, Belgium)
August 27, 2013
January 1, 2012
Publication: Antarctic Exploration Parallels for Future Human Planetary Exploration: The Role and Utility of Long Range, Long Duration Traverses