1 June 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC

1. India successfully concludes hosting of the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM-46) and the 26th Committee on Environmental Protection (CEP-26)

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests.
●  India hosted the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM-46) and the 26th Committee on Environmental Protection (CEP-26) in Kochi, Kerala.

●  The discussions involved crucial Antarctic issues, including environmental protection, tourism regulation, and scientific cooperation.

● The event highlighted India’s commitment to safeguarding Antarctica and promoting global environmental sustainability.

 Analysis of the news:

  • India hosted the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM-46) and 26th Committee on Environmental Protection (CEP-26) in Kochi, Kerala, from May 20-30, 2024.
  • The theme was “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” meaning “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”
  • India announced plans to establish a new research station at the Antarctic, Maitri-II.
  • The meetings reaffirmed the Antarctic Treaty (1959) and the Madrid Protocol (1991).
Antarctic Treaty (1959) and the Madrid Protocol (1991):
Antarctic Treaty (1959)

Establishment: Signed on December 1, 1959, and entered into force on June 23, 1961.

●  Purpose: To ensure that Antarctica is used for peaceful purposes and scientific research.

●  Military Activity: Prohibits military activity, such as the establishment of military bases and weapons testing.

Nuclear Testing: Bans nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste.

●  Scientific Cooperation: Promotes international scientific cooperation, including the exchange of research and data.

Territorial Claims: Puts all territorial claims on hold, preventing new claims while the treaty is in force.

●  Inspections: Allows for inspections by other parties to ensure compliance.

Madrid Protocol (1991)

Adoption: Adopted on October 4, 1991, and entered into force on January 14, 1998.

●  Environmental Protection: Provides comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment.

●  Prohibited Activities: Bans all activities related to mineral resources, except for scientific research.

●  Environmental Principles: Establishes principles for human activity, including waste management and environmental impact assessments.

●  Protected Areas: Designates specially protected and managed areas to preserve ecological and scientific values.

●  Liability: Sets rules for liability for environmental damage.

  • Seventeen revised and new management plans for Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) were adopted.
  • Discussions included sea ice change, environmental impact assessments, emperor penguin protection, and biosecurity measures.
  • The release of a commemorative MyStamp and a mural themed “Species-rich Antarctica” were highlights.
  • A framework for regulating tourism and non-governmental activities in Antarctica was discussed.
  • The event hosted over 400 delegates from 56 countries, focusing on science, policy, governance, environmental stewardship, and more.
  • The meetings included panel discussions and side events, emphasizing shared responsibilities and Antarctic governance.
  • The importance of renewable energy use and robust biosecurity measures to minimize Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza risks was stressed.
Practice Question:  Discuss the impact of climate change on the Antarctic ecosystem and its global implications. Evaluate the measures being taken to mitigate these effects. (150 Words /10 marks)

(Source – https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=2022278 )


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