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Antarctic-Environmental Protocol

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Title: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol  
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Subject: Geography of Bulgaria, Foreign relations of Colombia, Geography of Ecuador, Greenpeace, Geography of China, Foreign relations of China, Geography of Peru, Geography of Uruguay, Geography of Norway, Geography of Guatemala
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Antarctic-Environmental Protocol

The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, also known as the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, or the Madrid Protocol, is part of the Antarctic Treaty System. It provides for comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems.

It was concluded in Madrid and opened for signature on October 4, 1991 and entered into force on January 14, 1998. The treaty will be open for review in 2048.

Key Articles of the Treaty

  • Article 3 states that protection of the Antarctic environment as a wilderness with aesthetic and scientific value shall be a "fundamental consideration" of activities in the area.
  • Article 7 states that "Any activity relating to mineral resources, other than scientific research, shall be prohibited." This provision contrasts with the rejected Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities, which would have allowed mining under the control and taxation of an international managing body similar to the International Seabed Authority.
  • Article 8 requires environmental assessment for all activities, including tourism.
  • Article 11 creates a Committee for Environmental Protection for the continent.
  • Article 15 calls for member states to be prepared for emergency response actions in the area.
  • Articles 18-20 arrange for arbitration of international disputes regarding Antarctica.
  • Article 25(5) states that the Article 7 ban on mining may not be repealed unless a future treaty establishes a binding regulatory framework for such activity.

State parties

As of May 2013, the protocol has been ratified by 33 parties — Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay.[1]

A further 11 states — Austria, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Guatemala, Hungary, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Turkey — have signed but not yet ratified it.


The treaty followed a lengthy campaign by Greenpeace, including the construction of an Antarctic base from 1987-1991.[2][3] Greenpeace claims the protocol as a victory.[4]


 This article incorporates "2003 edition".

External links

  • Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty
  • Text, HTML format.
  • Text, PDF format.
  • Ratifications.
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