MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, July 25th 2024 - 16:57 UTC

 

 

Antarctic parties working on a framework for stringent regulations governing tourism

Thursday, June 27th 2024 - 20:33 UTC
Full article
 The CEP meeting addressed a range of issues and contributed to the implementation of the Environmental Protocol in Antarctica. The CEP meeting addressed a range of issues and contributed to the implementation of the Environmental Protocol in Antarctica.

At the end of May and under the auspices of India, the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM-46) and the 26th Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP-26) met at Kochi, Kerala with the participation of 404 delegates, of which 328 in person and 76 virtually.

The Parties emphasized the importance of education and outreach activities as an essential element of cooperation enshrined in the Antarctic Treaty and the Environmental Protocol. A significant outcome was the adoption of a decision on development of an ambitious, comprehensive, flexible and dynamic framework for regulating tourism and non-governmental activities in Antarctica.

India's Ministry of Earth Sciences through the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), organized the event, and the SCAR lecture was delivered by Dr. Sheeba Chenoli, who highlighted the tele-connections between tropical regions and Antarctic region. Key discussions at the ATCM included the operation of the Antarctic Treaty System, liability, biological prospecting, exchange of information, education issues, multi-year strategic work plan, safety, inspections, science issues, future science challenges, scientific cooperation, climate change implications, but particularly tourism management.

The CEP meeting addressed a range of issues and contributed to the implementation of the Environmental Protocol in Antarctica. The Committee agreed to prioritize further work on: the management implications of sea ice change; enhancing environmental impact assessment of major activities; protecting the emperor penguin; and developing an international framework for environmental monitoring in Antarctica.

Following the advice of the CEP, the Parties adopted 17 revised and new management plans for ASPAs (Antarctic Specially Protected Areas) and several modifications /additions to the list of Historic and Monument Sites (HSMs).

ATCM also encouraged efforts to increase renewable energy use, and to ensure robust implementation of bio-security measures to minimize the risks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

CEP elected a new Chair, Ms Ceisha Poirot from New Zealand, and is was agreed that the next ATCM meeting will take place in Italy in 2025, where further deliberations on the impacts of tourism will be addressed as well as a framework for tourism. Once the consensus on the framework is reached, there will be stringent regulations governing tourism activities in Antarctica.

Finally India announced a successor to its 35-year-old Maitri research base. The decision was welcomed positively and India will get onto the drawing board and chalk out its architectural and environmental plans before the union government. Once ready, the environment report of Maitri-II will be tabled before and seek clearance from the Committee on Environment Protection. India is expected to get Maitri-II operational in the early 2030s.

At Kochi, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became the latest entrant to the club of Antarctic Treaty Parties at the recently concluded meet.

Categories: Tourism, Antarctica.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!