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Montevideo, June 25th 2024 - 12:49 UTC

 

 

India will host significant Antarctica research and environmental meetings

Friday, May 10th 2024 - 10:40 UTC
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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). 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).

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.

The ATCM and meetings of the CEP are pivotal in the international community's ongoing efforts to safeguard Antarctica's fragile ecosystem and promote scientific research in the region. Convened 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. Over the years, the Treaty has garnered widespread support, with 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.

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 ongoing annually since 1981. In 2022, India enacted the Antarctic Act, reaffirming its commitment to the Antarctic Treaty.

As a signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, India remains dedicated to environmental protection, scientific cooperation, and peaceful operations in Antarctica. Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, highlighted the importance of India hosting the ATCM and CEP meetings in 2024. He said, “We look forward as a country to fostering meaningful exchanges of knowledge and expertise to advance the shared goals of environmental conservation and scientific research in the Antarctic region.”

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