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The Antarctic Treaty system

“It is in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue to be used forever for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.” The Antarctic Treaty, 1961.

Activity

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Diplomats and scientists meet each year to upgrade the Antarctic Treaty System. Some rules and regulations may become even tighter, and they may agree to introduce new rules on current issues, such as tourism or bioprospecting.

Imagine you are a group signed up to the Antarctic Treaty System, think about and answer these questions:

  • For each application, decide whether you would allow it or not.
  • If you think an activity breaks the Treaty, be ready to explain your decision based on the Antarctic Treaty System.
  • Share your decisions with another group. You need a unanimous decision – can you get one?
  • Afterwards, ask your teacher to see if you were right!
  • Are there any decisions that you disagree with?
  • And are there any other rules you would add to the Antarctic Treaty System?
Discarded waste drums.
The Treaty means all waste has to be removed.