Tuesday 4 October was the 25th anniversary of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty which was created in order to protect the unique and pristine Antarctic landscape. The Protocol designates Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science; and bans the commercial extraction of minerals (mining and drilling).
The Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird said it saw off competition from Europe and beyond including Korea and Singapore to be selected as the preferred bidder to build a new vessel for the UK-funded Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The contract was signed last week and it is expected that full production will start in June next year, and on completion the vessel will be operated by NERC’s British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
The U.K. Government announced on Monday that Cammell Laird in Birkenhead has been selected as the preferred bidder to build the nation’s new £200 million polar research ship. The decision follows a 12-month competitive tender process that involved bids from companies in the U.K., Spain, Norway, Singapore and South Korea.
Professor Jane Francis has been appointed as the new Director of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Ms Francis, a geologist by training, is Professor of Palaeoclimatology at the University of Leeds where she is currently Dean of the Faculty of Environment.