According to the Antarctic Treaty, which came into force in 1961, Antarctica is an area free from military and industrial activity. International cooperation is aimed at the development of scientific research and biological resources in the Southern Ocean. The regulations on such activities are set forth in the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and are governed by the Commission (CCAMLR). Due to the problem of natural resource depletion and the imminent expiration date of the Antarctic Treaty, nations are more actively showing an interest in this region and participating in dialogue on the establishment of a system of special-use areas in the Ross Sea and East Antarctica. The establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) implies a ban on the conduct of scientific and fishing activities, thereby ruling out the presence of many countries in Antarctica. Moreover, reducing the number of research programmes could lead to an even more acute lack of data on the function of ecosystems in and the impact of climate change on the Southern Ocean, and, as a result, the conservation of Antarctic bioresources becomes impossible. Instead of MPAs, the Russian Federation proposes to establish Areas of Special Scientific Interest in three sectors of Antarctica.
Mr Dmitry Kremenyuk (Russian Federation)