Indian Antarctic Programme (IAP)
- May 22, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Indian Antarctic Programme (IAP)
Section: Climate Change
Context: India’s scientific contribution in Antarctica is crucial for advancing knowledge on existing research on climate and geological history in the region, as well as its linkages with the Indian subcontinent.
- The Indian Antarctic Programme (IAP) is governed by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), an autonomous organisation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, leading major scientific research spanning from biological sciences to glaciological, meteorological, and oceanographic research among other areas.
- In 1983, India signed the Antarctic Treaty and established its first research base, Dakshin Gangotri, 2,500 kilometres far from the South Pole. As of today, the research stations Maitri (1988) and Bharati (2012) are fully operational.
- The Antarctic Treaty was signed between 12 countries in Washington on 1st December 1959 for making the Antarctic Continent a demilitarized zone to be preserved for scientific research only.
- The twelve original signatories are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the UK and the US.
- It entered into force in 1961and has since been acceded by many other nations.
- Members – Currently it has 54 parties. India became a member of this treaty in 1983.
- Headquarters – Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- Major Provisions:
- Promoting the freedom of scientific research.
- Countries can use the continent only for peaceful purposes.
- Prohibition of military activities, nuclear tests and the disposal of radioactive waste.
- Neutralising territorial sovereignty, this means a limit was placed on making any new claim or enlargement of an existing claim.
- It put a freeze on any disputes between claimants over their territories on the continent.
- The Treaty applies to the area south of 60° South Latitude, including all ice shelves, but nothing in the Treaty “shall prejudice or in any way affect the rights, or the exercise of the rights, of any State under international law with regard to the high seas within that area”.
- The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed in Madrid on October 4, 1991 and entered into force in 1998. It designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” (Art. 2). Article 3 of the Environment Protocol sets forth basic principles applicable to human activities in Antarctica and Article 7 prohibits all activities relating to Antarctic mineral resources, except for scientific research.
- Until 2048 the Protocol can only be modified by unanimous agreement of all Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty. In addition, the prohibition on mineral resource activities cannot be removed unless a binding legal regime on Antarctic mineral resource activities is in force.
- Any area, including any marine area, may be designated as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area to protect outstanding environmental, scientific, historic, aesthetic or wilderness values, any combination of those values, or ongoing or planned scientific research.
- Any area, including any marine area, where activities are being conducted or may in the future be conducted, may be designated as an Antarctic Specially Managed Area to assist in the planning and co-ordination of activities, avoid possible conflicts, improve co-operation between Parties or minimize environmental impacts.
|Antarctic Specially Protected Area||Antarctic Specially Managed Areas|
- Entry into an Antarctic Specially Protected Area shall be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued under Article 7. Whereas, Entry into an Antarctic Specially Managed Area shall not require a permit.