10.5 Antarctic Treaty System

India participated in the following international conferences/meetings during 1998-99:

The XXII Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting held at Tromso, Norway from May 25-June 5, 1998. India is a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty, which is the highest decision making body on matters relating to Antarctica.

The Tenth Annual Meeting of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP) and the Standing Committee on Antarctic Logistics & Operations (SCALOP), held at Concepcion, Chile from 20-24 July, 1998, are concerned with the logistic matters relating to Antarctica, including protection of the environment and waste disposal mechanisms. India confirmed the COMNAP offer to host the XI COMNAP/SCALOP meeting at Goa from 20 to 24 September, 1999. It was decided that the next SCAR Executive meeting will be held at India along with the XI COMNAP meeting at Goa.

The XXV SCAR delegates meeting was held from 27-31 July, 1998 at Concepcion, Chile. The Indian delegation was headed by Secretary, DOD. The meeting discussed the plan and strategy to execute the various programmes on global change and environment and also recommended the initiation of a new project on Antarctic neo-tectonics.

A meeting of Working Group on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management (WG-EMM) of Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was held from 10th to 21st August'98 at Kochi. The meeting hosted by India was attended by 45 participants, including 25 from 12 member countries of CCAMLR other than India. The work of Indian scientists in Antarctic waters during the First Indian Krill Expedition onboard FORV Sagar Sampada was lauded by the Working Group.

17th meeting of CCAMLR and the Scientific committee held at Hobart, Australia during 26th Oct.'98 to 6th Nov.'98. The Convention on Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) governs the marine living resources in the Antarctic area. India is a party to the Convention and is also a member of the CCAMLR. India was elected Chairman of the CCAMLR for a two-year period beginning November `98 during this meeting.

As the Chairman of the CCAMLR, Secretary, DOD held discussions with the Executive Secretary, CCAMLR at Hobart, Australia on 23rd Jan.'99 on the activities of CCAMLR and matters relating to functioning of the CCAMLR Secretariat to make it more effective.

Secretary, DOD represented India in the Antarctic Ministerial Visit to Ross Island, Antarctica from 25-28 January, 1999 held in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary Year of the Antarctic Treaty System. A delegation of 41 Ministers and Officials from 23 countries who are Consultative Members of the Antarctic Treaty System visited Scott's Hut, Cape Evans, research station in the Dry Valleys, Shackleton's Hut at Cape Royals, Penguin Colony at Castlerock and McMurdo/Scott Base area and Italian station at Terra Nova Bay.