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Antarctic Treaty

The Antarctic Treaty Explained - our Comments  

This Treaty has been put on this web site to help demonstrate to the public, that the Japanese should not be sending their whale killer ships to the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales. It demonostrates a serious violation of the Antarctic Treaty by Japan. Below you will be able to read the Antarctic treaty with our attached comments. BELOW THE ANTARCTIC TREATY WITH OUR COMMENTS,YOU WILL BE ABLE TO READ A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL ANTARCTIC TREATY. The Antarctic Treaty with comments and the Antarctic Treaty demonstrates that the Japanese whale killing ships, should be ordered out of the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales immediately.

THIS IS A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL ANTARCTIC TREATY

The British Antarctic Survey

Natural Environment Research Council 

The Antarctic Treaty Explained.

The following text was adopted at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Peru, May/June 1999, as an introduction to the Antarctic Treaty, particularly for intending visitors to the Antarctic: 

For reference this paragraph is coded 2 

There are few places in the world where there has never been war, where the environment is fully protected, and where scientific research has priority. But there is a whole continent like this – it is the land the Antarctic Treaty parties call “…a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”.  

At the southern end of our world, those who share the challenges of distance and cold to visit the ice-bound continent have developed a unique on this scale, which is cemented by the Antarctic Treaty. 

As a visitor to Antarctica, you will be privileged to enter this world. This document will tell you a little about the Antarctic Treaty, and why it is a unique agreement – for a unique place. 

Background 

The Antarctic continent is vast. It embraces the South Pole with permanent ice and snow. It is encircled by floating barriers of ice, stormy seas and appalling weather. Its great altitude chills the air to extremes, and its descent to sea level across a moving ice sheet generates the world’s strongest winds. The cycling seasons reveal the spectacular natural forces of our planet. The surrounding seas teem with wildlife. And just 2% of this continent is free of ice, allowing a small toe-hold for hardy animals and plants. 

The weather and isolation dominate all who visit. The discovery and exploration of Antarctica was shaped by the continent’s remoteness and its extraordinarily inhospitable environment. These factors combined for centuries to keep humans away from all but the subantarctic islands and parts of the Southern Ocean where whaling and sealing took place. In human historic terms, the land exploration of Antarctica is recent, most of it being accomplished during the twentieth century. 

The improved technology and knowledge of the last 100 years allowed greater access to the continent, encouraging detailed surveying and research, and the gradual occupation of Antarctica by scientific stations. By mid-century, permanent stations were being established and planning was underway for the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-58, the first substantial multi-nation research program in Antarctica. By mid-century, territorial positions had also been asserted, but not agreed, creating a tension that threatened future scientific cooperation. 

The IGY was recognised as pivotal to the scientific understanding of Antarctica. The twelve nations active in Antarctica, nine of which made territorial claims or reserved the right to do so, agreed that their political and legal differences should not interfere with the research program. The outstanding success of the IGY led these nations to agree that peaceful scientific cooperation in the Antarctic should continue indefinitely. Negotiation of such an agreement, the Antarctic Treaty, commenced immediately after the IGY. 

The Antarctic Treaty  

For reference this paragraph is coded 9 

The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by twelve nations that had been active during the IGY (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and USSR). The Treaty, which applies to the area south of 60º South latitude, is surprisingly short, but remarkably effective. Through this agreement, the countries active in Antarctica consult on the uses of a whole continent, with a commitment that is should not become the scene or object of international discord. In its fourteen articles the Treaty:   

                

  • To be known as coded 9 (1) for reference: Stipulates that Antarctica should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes, military activities, such as the establishment of military bases or weapons testing, are specifically prohibited;

  • Guarantees continued freedom to conduct scientific research, as enjoyed during the IGY;

  • Promotes international scientific cooperation including the exchange of research plans and personnel, and requires that results of research be made freely available:

  • Sets aside the potential for sovereignty disputes between Treaty parties by providing that no activities will enhance or diminish previously asserted positions with respect to territorial claims, provides that no new or enlarged claims can be made, and makes rules relating to jurisdiction;

  • Prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste;

  • Provides for inspection by observers, stations and equipment in Antarctica to ensure the observance of, and compliance with, the Treaty;

  • Requires parties to give advance notice of their expeditions; provides for the parties to meet periodically to discuss measures to further the objectives of the Treaty; and

  • Puts in place a dispute settlement procedure and a mechanism by which the Treaty can be modified.

    The Treaty also provides that any member of the United Nations can accede to it. The Treaty now has 44 signatories, 27 are Consultative Parties on the basis of being original signatories or by conducting substantial research there. Membership continues to grow. A full list of the current parties to the Treaty will appear later in this document. Since entering into force on 23 June 1961, the Treaty has been recognised as one of the most successful international agreements. Problematic differences over territorial claims have been effectively set aside and as a disarmament regime it has been outstandingly successful. The Treaty parties remain firmly committed to a system that is still effective in protecting their essential Antarctic interests. Science is proceeding unhindered. Since the first Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in 1961, the parties have met frequently, now annually, to discuss issues as diverse as scientific cooperation, measures to protect the environment, and operational issues – and they are committed to taking decisions by consensus. This process has allowed the Antarctic Treaty to evolve into a system with a number of components that meet the special needs of managing activities in the Antarctic, while protecting national interests. This regime is now known by the broader title of the Antarctic Treaty System, which operates under the umbrella of the annual ATCM.

    The Antarctic Treaty System 

    The Antarctic Treaty System comprises the Treaty itself and a number of related agreements. It also includes a range of organisations that contribute to the work of the decision-making forums. In addition to the related agreements (described below), the Treaty System includes the resolutions of the Consultative Meetings relating to matters such as: 

  • Scientific cooperation;

  • Protection of the Antarctic environment;

  • For reference coded 13 (c) Conservation of plants and animals;

  • Preservation of historic sites;

  • Designation and management of protected areas;

  • Management of tourism;

  • Information exchange;

  • Collection of meteorological data;

  • Hydrographic charting;

  • Logistic cooperation; and

  • Communications and safety.

    For reference coded 13

    The Treaty Parties have put in place rules relating to specific issues. The development of these agreements has allowed the implementation, with greater precision, of legally binding provisions for the regulation of activities in Antarctica.

    Related organisations

    Apart form the legal instruments and measures outlined above, a number of specialised bodies assist the Treaty parties in the conduct of their work. Specific tasks may be directed to these bodies, or they may be invited to provide observers or experts to participate in Treaty forums. 

    For reference coded 15

    The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research coordinates Antarctic research programs and encourages scientific cooperation. Through its various subordinate groups it is able to provide expert information on a range of disciplines and on the scientific implications of operational proposals of the Treaty meetings. 

    The Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs comprises the heads of each of the national Antarctic operating agencies. COMNAP meets annually to exchange logistic information, encourage cooperation and develop advice to the Treaty parties on a range of practical matters. 

    The COMNAP treaty parties have now developed a close relationship with environmental    inter-governmental and non-government organisations that represent the broader community interests in conservation. Organisations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the United Nations Environment Program and the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition are also invited to the Treaty meetings as experts. 

    Bodies with technical expertise relevant to the Treaty discussions also participate. They include the International Hydrographic Organisation, the World Meteorological Organisation and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. 

    The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators is an industry body representing the interests of the growing tourist trade in Antarctica. Many tour operators are affiliated with IAATO, which also provides experts to the annual Treaty meetings. 

    Conclusion

    The Treaty provided that any party could call for a review conference after the expiration of 30 years. No party has done so. In 1991, on the thirtieth anniversary of the Treaty, the parties recognised the continuing strength and relevance of the Treaty by adopting a declaration recording their determination to maintain and strengthen the Treaty and to protect Antarctica’s environmental and scientific values. 

    For reference coded 23

    Under the Treaty, each party has enjoyed peaceful cooperation and freedom of scientific research. That research has contributed significantly to knowledge of the Earth and is contributing to the protection of the global environment. Environmental monitoring in Antarctica has, for example, led to the discovery of the seasonal depletion of atmospheric ozone over the Antarctic. 

    As the Antarctic Treaty System matures it has become recognised as one of the most successful sets of international agreements, setting an example of peaceful cooperation for the rest of the world. 

    As an environmental regime it is unique – an entire continent, which is essentially undisturbed, will remain protected because of the commitment and cooperation of the Treaty parties.    

    Information for visitors to Antarctica

    Many visitors to Antarctica go there under the auspices of national scientific programs. The national programs are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Antarctic Treaty, and the environment protection Protocol in particular – your national program operator will advise you of your obligations. 

    Other visitors to Antarctica will be under the auspices of commercial tour operators or may make their own arrangements. Most tour operators are members of IAATO and accordingly tourist activities are usually planned to meet the requirements or the Antarctic Treaty, the Protocol and national implementing legislation. Most Treaty parties accept visitors to their stations in Antarctica if they comply with the relevant environmental and other obligations – such as thorough planning of the expeditions (including prior environmental assessment) and complete self-sufficiency. 

    The Antarctic Treaty parties have adopted guidelines for visitors to the Antarctic. These guidelines are intended to ensure that wildlife and vegetation are not disturbed, protected areas and research programs are respected, and activities are conducted with a high regard for safety. Guidelines for operations request that they provide advance notification of their activities, confirm visits to scientific stations, ensure that their passengers are properly supervised and report on their expeditions. 

    A small number of people make their own arrangements to visit the Antarctic. The guidelines also apply to such activities. The Treaty parties consult with each other to ensure that private activities are appropriately managed within the requirements of the Protocol. 

    The requirements of the Madrid Protocol and other components of the Antarctic Treaty System are implemented by each Treaty party in its own laws, according to its legal system. Visitors to the Antarctic should ensure that they are familiar with the legal requirements that apply to them – for example, the applicable laws may be those of the country where the expedition is being planned, or the country from which the expedition departs. The most important legal requirements relate to prior environmental assessment of the proposed activities, prohibition on taking or harming flora and fauna, waste disposal, contingency planning and the need for permits if visits to protected areas are contemplated.  

    If intending a visit to Antarctica, early contact should be made with the relevant national operating agency for advice on the legal requirements. National operating agencies will also be able to provide further information on the environment protection Protocol and other Treaty requirements, copies of the guidelines for visitors to the Antarctic, and information on the national Antarctic programs and the availability of maps.

    OUR COMMENTS

    Certain paragraphs we have taken from the Antarctic Treaty, which shows that Japan and its whale slaughtering ships should not be anywhere in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales. Their only intention is to slaughter the whales and sell the whale meat commercially, under the deceitful banner of Scientific Research.

    For reference this paragraph is coded 2 from the Antarctic Treaty Explained.(2) There are few places in the world, where there has never been war, where the environment is fully protected and where scientific research has priority. But there is a whole continent like this – it is the land the Antarctic Treaty parties call “… a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”.

    Comments continued: it states clearly in this paragraph “where the environment is fully protected,” the Japanese refuel at sea their whale killing ships via their diesel filling tankers, “What happens if the refuelling pipes break or leak or there is a spillage?” the seas here are really stormy. Are the Antarctic crystal clear waters really protected? Are the Japanese, breaking the rules of the Antarctic Treaty? Are the Japanese allowed to refuel their whale killing ships in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales? We don’t think that the environment in the Antarctic Southern Ocean is fully protected. In March 07 the Nissin Maru the worlds largest whale slaughter ship with over 1 million 500,000 litres of diesel on board, caught fire and nearly sank, a spillage catastrophe, waiting to happen.

    Further comments on this paragraph “and where scientific research has priority,” does this mean that if you paint scientific research all over your ships, as the Japanese have done, you have priority to drag out of the sea and horrendously mutilate and torture over 1100 whales to include Minke, Fin and Humpback whales, some of the whales weigh up to 120 tons. What’s happening to the Antarctic Treaty laws? Should Japan now be prosecuted and be investigated for causing a major upheaval in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales?

    Further comments on reference coded 2 states, “A natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”, does this mean a natural reserve for whales, for the Japanese to slaughter and maim peacefully, under the banner of “Scientific Research”. If not, why is it being allowed to happen?

    Further comments on reference coded 2: “what’s happening to the “devoted to peace” part of the Antarctic Treaty? The peace that the whales should be enjoying in their sanctuary, in the Southern Ocean of the Antarctic. Shouldn’t the Japanese be investigated by the Natural Environmental Research Council for seriously affecting the peace?

    Antarctic Treaty coded 9 for reference.

    The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve nations that had been active during the IGY (International Geophysical Year) Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and USSR. The treaty, which applies to the area south of 60º South latitude, is surprisingly short, but remarkably effective. Through this agreement, the countries active in Antarctica consult on the uses of a whole continent, with a commitment that it should not become the scene or object of international discord.

    Comments on the following words in the Antarctic Treaty coded 9 for reference. “Through this agreement, the countries active in Antarctica consult on the uses of a whole continent”. Lets take a look at this section first, the word ‘consult’ does this mean that if Japan consults the Natural Environment Research Council – Antarctic Treaty, it can slaughter as many whales as it wants? If the answer is NO are Japan and the Japanese whale slaughtering ships and factory ship the Nissin Maru breaking the rules of the Antarctic Treaty?

    This section in code 9 for reference goes on further to say “with a commitment that it should not become the scene or object of international discord”, comments and questions! So what does the Natural Environment Research Council – Antarctic Treaty, have to say about the Japanese mass slaughtering of whales, in the Southern Ocean Antarctic Sanctuary region. UK and many other nations in the world are up in arms, about the Japanese slaughtering whales in a sanctuary. (see email under email section Luke Warwick, DEFRA UK Government) There certainly is a discord, a BIG ONE! Is the Natural Environment Research Council – Antarctic Treaty going to look into what the Japanese are doing before it brings disgrace on the treaty?

    To be known as code 9 (1) for reference.It stipulates that Antarctica should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes, military activities, such as the establishment of military bases or weapons testing are specifically prohibited.

    Comments: “Weapons testing are specifically prohibited”. A harpoon gun on the front of a Japanese whale killer ship surely is classed as a weapon, a very dangerous highly explosive weapon, able to kill a 120 ton whale and as we understand it the Japanese do test different highly explosive harpoon guns (weapons). A weapon is an instrument that kills. In the Antarctic Treaty area this is outrageous and blatantly flaunting the rules of the Antarctic Treaty. Are the Natural Environmental Research Council – Antarctic Treaty and all the other nations making up the treaty, now going to stand up against the Japanese? If not, why not?

    Reference coded 13 (c) says:The Treaty Parties have put in place rules relating to specific issues. The development of these agreements has allowed the implementation, with greater precision, of legally binding provisions for the regulation of activities in Antarctica.

    Comments: one of the resolutions is as follows “(c) Conservation of plants and animals”, so why is the Japanese slaughtering and maiming whales by the hundreds in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales and why are they not conserving the whales, as laid down by the Antarctic Treaty system. It quite clearly states, that the regulations are legally binding, so why are the Japanese allowed to break them and kill, kill; kill under a scientific program that should and must not be allowed?

    Reference coded 15 says:The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research co-ordinates Antarctic research programs and encourages scientific cooperation. Through its various subordinate groups it is able to provide expert information on a range of disciplines and on the scientific implications of operational proposals of the Treaty meetings.

    Comments: this section clearly states “the scientific committee on Antarctic research coordinates Antarctic research programs and encourages scientific cooperation”. Then does this scientific committee allow the Japanese to slaughter whales in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for whales, providing Japan paints Scientific Research all over its whale killing ships and are they allowed to use highly explosive harpoon guns (weapons)? If the scientific committee does not allow it, then aren’t there serious questions to be answered by Japan about their abuse of the regulations?

    Reference coded 23 says:Under the Treaty, each party has enjoyed peaceful cooperation and freedom of scientific research. That research has contributed significantly to knowledge of the Earth and is contributing to the protection of the global environment. Environmental monitoring in Antarctica has, for example, led to the discovery of the seasonal depletion of atmospheric ozone over the Antarctic.

    Comments: it clearly states the following “under the Treaty, each party has enjoyed peaceful cooperation and freedom of scientific research”, we here at GreenEcoPeace are confused by the following words, “peaceful cooperation and freedom of scientific research”. Firstly, “peaceful cooperation” there has been no peaceful cooperation, with the Japanese in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales. Conservation ships have been going out to the Antarctica Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales, to help save whales, year after year and many times there have been serious skirmishes with Japanese whale killing ships, which kill whales, as there are no whale sanctuary guard boats patrolling the area.

    Secondly, the words “freedom of scientific research”, this concerns us, does this wording mean the following: - freedom for the Japanese whaling ships to kill whales in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales, under the wording on the side of their whaling ships “Scientific Research”. If the wording in the Antarctic Treaty does not mean this, then the Scientific Committee- Antarctic Treaty System must stop the Japanese slaughtering whales by the hundreds under the wording, “Scientific Research”, its deceitful and a blatant flaunting of the Antarctic Treaty!

    With the internet and satellite and better understanding of the world, people can see straight through Japans deceitful, so called, cruel, scientific research.

    Call back your whale killing ships Japan and show the world that you have changed, you will then start to gain respect from the whole world.

    We believe at GreenEcoPeace that the Japanese is abusing the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary for Whales.

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