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Monitoring persistent organic chemicals in Antarctica in support of global chemical policy: a horizon scan of priority actions and challenges
Global production and emission of chemicals exceeds societal capacities for assessment and monitoring. This situation calls for improved chemical regulatory policy frameworks and increased support for expedited decision making within existing frameworks. The polar regions of the Earth represent unique sentinel areas for the study of global chemical behaviour, and data arising from these areas can strengthen existing policy frameworks. However, chemical pollution research and monitoring in the Antarctic is underdeveloped, with geopolitical complexities and the absence of legal recognition of international chemical policy serving to neutralise progress made in other global regions. This Personal View represents a horizon scan by the action group Input Pathways of Persistent Organic Pollutants to Antarctica, of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. Four priority research and research facilitation gaps are outlined, with recommendations for Antarctica Treaty parties for strategic action against these priorities.