The XVIII Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in
Kyoto, Japan from 11-22 April 1994. The substantive items of the agenda
included : Review of the operation of the Antarctic Treaty System;
Implementation of the Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection
pending its entry into force; Liability for environmental damages;
Regulation of tourist activities in Antarctica; Establishment of a
Secretariat for ATS; Questions relating to exercise of jurisdiction,
cooperation in scientific and logistic matters, Inspections under Antarctic
Treaty System. The meeting was attended by representatives of the
twenty-six Consultative Parties including India and by the delegations of
seven contracting parties.
Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty
The meeting recognised that the priority task must be the interim
implementation of the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. It
was agreed to constitute a new transitional working group on
environmental matters to carry out the functions of the Environment
Committee envisaged under the Protocol. The agenda for the XIX ATCM
to be held in Seoul in May 1995 was restructured.
Considerable efforts are being made by Consultative Parties,
including India, active in Antarctic research to implement the provisions
of the Protocol as far as practicable. Efforts are underway to introduce
updated means of waste disposal and the parties have begun the process of
introducing environmental impact assessment of activities in Antarctica.
Swedish team which visited our Permanent research station at Maitri in
Antarctica reported that the operations there were being carried out in
accordance with the provisions of the Treaty and Environmental Protocol.
The growing industry of tourism in Antarctica attracted much
attention. To help both visitors and Non-Governmental expeditions to
Antarctica to be aware of, and to comply with the provisions of the
Protocol the meeting agreed on a set of detailed guidelines.
However, there was no agreement on the question of location of the
Secretariat for the Antarctic Treaty System.