May 30, 2024
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, through the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), will host the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM 46) and the 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP 26) from May 20 to 30, 2024, in Kochi, Kerala.
  • This is in line with India’s poise to facilitate constructive global dialogue on environmental stewardship, scientific collaboration, and cooperation in Antarctica.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The ATCM and meetings of the CEP are pivotal in the international community’s on-going efforts to safeguard Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem and promote scientific research in the region.
  • The Meetings are organised annually under the Antarctic Treaty System, these meetings serve as forums for Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties and other stakeholders to address Antarctica’s pressing environmental, scientific, and governance issues.
  • The Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959 and entered into force in 1961, established Antarctica as a region dedicated to peaceful purposes, scientific cooperation, and environmental protection. The Treaty has 56 countries currently party to it.
  • The CEP was established under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol) in 1991. The CEP advises the ATCM on environmental protection and conservation in Antarctica.

ABOUT ANTARCTIC TREATY:

  • India has been a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty since 1983. It participates in the decision-making process along with other 28 Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty to date.
  • India’s first Antarctic research station, Dakshin Gangotri, was established in 1983.
  • At present, India operates two year-round research stations: Maitri (1989) and Bharati (2012).
  • The permanent research stations facilitate Indian Scientific Expeditions to Antarctica, which have been on-going annually since 1981.
  • In 2022, India enacted the Antarctic Act, reaffirming its commitment to the Antarctic Treaty.
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