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  • EC Bases


    I know this is probably a silly question but which EC countries (apart for the UK) have bases in Antartica?


  • #2

    Currently there's France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Poland that maintain bases in Antarctica. Other European countries have an interest and carry out research there. Try these 2 sites for lists:


    • #3

      Thankyou for the information. What?s your particular interest in Antartica. It may be a bit ambitious but I have been considering getting my mountain leading certificates etc and going at some stage to antartica. Also I??m a diver and would like to try ice diving.


      • #4
        Re: EC Bases

        Originally posted by Paul

        Currently there's France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Poland that maintain bases in Antarctica. Other European countries have an interest and carry out research there. Try these 2 sites for lists:
        What is the criteria for these countries to maintain bases in Antarctica and for how long and who approves their researches and does each country know of each others researches? Are there guidelines as to what can or cannot be researched? I was surprised to see so many countries involved in the that part of the world.


        • #5
          Re: EC Bases

          I'm not certain of the actual criteria required, or steps needed, it wouldn't be too difficult to research if you wanted to know.

          If a country really wants to get involved with genuine research in Antarctica then it pretty much can as long as it is proper research and not just a "presence" gathering weather data say which there is plenty of and doesn't even need a base these days as it can be done with automatic weather stations.

          Maintaining an Antractic base is very expensive however and there are economies of scale, so it's difficult to get started. There are many countries that are involved in Antarctica, but not many are involved regularly and at a high level.

          The scientific community has a long tradition of sharing research findings freely in publicly published scientific journals, many of the research findings are freely available on the web, but the detail tends to be only found in print. Printing research is expensive, so journals that do so tend to have pay-for sites to cover their considerable costs. Like other books - freely available (in the book stores) isn't the same as free.

          As to what can and can't be researched - it comes down to the impact on the environment - and it's pretty strict. 20 years ago for instance, I know of a researcher who wanted to kill 5 penguins for his research. He was given permission, but had to submit it in writing long in advance and justify why he wanted to do this. Compare this to wanting to kill 5 common birds (the penguins were and aren't anywhere near endangered) anywhere else in the world.

          Since then the rules have tightened up a lot - from a pretty high basis to start with.


          • #6
            Re: EC Bases

            The following text was adopted at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Peru, May/June 1999, as an introduction to the Antarctic Treaty, particularly for intending visitors to the Antarctic:

            Information for visitors to Antarctica

            Many visitors to Antarctica go there under the auspices of national scientific programs. The national programs are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Antarctic Treaty, and the environment protection Protocol in particular - your national program operator will advise you of your obligations.

            Other visitors to Antarctica will be under the auspices of commercial tour operators or may make their own arrangements. Most tour operators are members of IAATO and accordingly tourist activities are usually planned to meet the requirements of the Antarctic Treaty, the Protocol and national implementing legislation. Most Treaty parties accept visitors to their stations in Antarctica if they comply with the relevant environmental and other obligations - such as thorough planning of the expeditions (including prior environmental assessment) and complete self-sufficiency.

            The Antarctic Treaty parties have adopted guidelines for visitors to the Antarctic. These guidelines are intended to ensure that wildlife and vegetation are not disturbed, protected areas and research programs are respected, and activities are conducted with a high regard for safety.

            Guidelines for operators request that they provide advance notification of their activities, confirm visits to scientific stations, ensure that their passengers are properly supervised and report on their expeditions.
            A small number of people make their own arrangements to visit the Antarctic. The guidelines also apply to such activities. The Treaty parties consult with each other to ensure that private activities are appropriately managed within the requirements of the Protocol.

            The requirements of the Madrid Protocol and other components of the Antarctic Treaty System are implemented by each Treaty party in its own laws, according to its legal system. Visitors to the Antarctic should ensure that they are familiar with the legal requirements that apply to them - for example, the applicable laws may be those of the country where the expedition is being planned, or the country from which the expedition departs.

            The most important legal requirements relate to prior environmental assessment of the proposed activities, prohibition on taking or harming flora and fauna, waste disposal, contingency planning and the need for permits if visits to protected areas are contemplated. Completion of special forms may be required.

            If intending a visit to Antarctica, early contact should be made with the relevant national operating agency for advice on the legal requirements. National operating agencies will also be able to provide further information on the environment protection Protocol and other Treaty requirements, copies of the guidelines for visitors to the Antarctic, and information on the national Antarctic programs and the availability of maps.

            Highlighting of some areas in bold is mine - Paul.

            Last edited by Paul Ward; 22nd January 2006, 13:57.


            • #7
              Re: EC Bases

              Thank you for the sites they are good ones and it is a start for me. I would like to think the researcher had to pay a fee for killing the 5 penquins and 100% of it went to a "Mother Earth" fund. Where did he go with his research findings? Please tell me the penquins were treated with respect and didnot suffer...I'm sensitive to this stuff..