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Antarctica
 
[Whitney
                            Smith’s Antarctic Flag proposal 1978]
   1978: Proposed Flag (Whitney Smith)
[Graham
                            Bartram’s Antarctic Flag proposal 1996]
   1996: Proposed Flag (Graham Bartram)

[Antarctic Treaty
                            Secretariat flag]
       Antarctic Treaty Secretariat Flag 
              Adopted 20 Sep 2002

Map of Antarctica Map of Antarctic Research
Stations & Territorial Claims
Antarctic Treaty
(23 Jun 1961)
Major Stations: Amundsen-Scott (US),
Belgrano (Arg.), Bernardo O'Higgins (Chile),
Dumont d'Urville (Fr.), Halley (UK),
Mawson (Aus.), McMurdo (US),
Neumayer (Ger), Palmer (US), Scott (NZ),
Troll (Norway), Vostok (Rus.), Syowa (Jap.)
Currency: No Common
Currency
Population: Uninhabited
Seasonal Research Staff:
Summer (Dec.-Feb..): 4,490 (2009)
Winter (Jun.-Aug..): 1,106 (2009)
Total Armed Forces: Antarctic Treaty prohibits
any measures of a military nature
GDP: Scientific undertakings rather than commercial pursuits are the
predominate human activity in Antarctica. Fishing off the coast and tourism,
both based abroad, account for Antarctica's limited economic activity.
Summer (Dec.-Feb.) population - 4,490 total: Argentina 667, Australia 200, Australia and Romania jointly 13, Belgium 20, Brazil 40,
Bulgaria 18, Chile 359, China 90, Czech Republic 20, Ecuador 26, Finland 20, France 125, France and Italy jointly 60,
Germany 90, India 65, Italy 102, Japan 125, South Korea 70, New Zealand 85, Norway 44, Peru 28, Poland 40, Russia 429,
South Africa 80, Spain 50, Sweden 20, Ukraine 24, U.K. 217, U.S. 1,293, Uruguay 70
(2008-2009)
Winter (Jun.-Aug.) population - 1,106 total: Argentina 176, Australia 62, Brazil 12, Chile 114, China 29, France 26,
France & Italy jointly 13, Germany 9, India 25, Japan 40, South Korea 18, New Zealand 10, Norway 7, Poland 12,
Russia 148, South Africa 10, Ukraine 12, U.K. 37, U.S. 337, Uruguay 9
(2009)
Number of Year-round Stations - 40 total: Argentina 6, Australia 3, Brazil 1, Chile 6, China 2, France 1,
France & Italy jointly 1, Germany 1, India 1, Japan 1, South Korea 1, New Zealand 1, Norway 1, Poland 1,
Russia 5, South Africa 1, Ukraine 1, U.K. 2, U.S. 3, Uruguay 1
(2009)
Summer-only Stations, camps, and refuges - Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic,
Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania (with Australia),
Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, U.K., U.S., and Uruguay
(2008-2009); in addition, during the austral summer
some nations have numerous occupied locations such as tent camps, summer-long temporary facilities, and mobile traverses
 in support of research.

Antarctica
Index
Chronology
Dec 1773 - Jan 1775        British Capt. James Cook circumnavigated the 
                             continent without sighting land.
16 Feb 1819                First sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula and South
                             Shetland Islands by British Capt. William Smith. 
27 Jan 1820                Russian Capt. Thaddeus von Bellingshausen (Fabian
                             Gottlieb von Bellingshausen) sights and lays  
                             claim to being the first person to set eyes on
                             the Antarctic continent.
16 Nov 1820                Palmer Land discovered by American Capt. Nathaniel
                             Palmer.
 7 Feb 1821                U.S. Capt. John Davis makes first known landing on
                             the continent at Hughes Bay on Antarctic
                             Peninsula.
24 Feb 1831                First sighting of the Antarctic continent in the
                             Indian Ocean sector (Enderby Land) by British 
                             Capt. John Biscoe, in the Tula and Lively.
 9 Feb 1839                First landing south of the Antarctic Circle by                                  British Capt. John Balleny in the Eliza Scott,
                             discovered and landed on the Balleny Islands.
 9 Feb 1841                First ever to enter the Ross Sea by British
                             explorer Sir James Clark Ross in the ship Erebus.
26 Jan 1853                First landing on Greater Antarctica (Victoria Land)
                             by American Capt. Mercator Cooper in the Levant. 
24 Jan 1895                Carsten Borchgrevink made the first landing on 
                             Antarctica since Davis. Three years later he led
                             the first party to winter on the continent.
 1 Apr 1903 - 22 Feb 1904  First permanent scientific station established in
                             the Antarctic, at Laurie Island, South Orkneys by
                             the Scottish National Antarctic expedition under
                             William Speirs Bruce.
22 Feb 1904                Argentina began to occupy Antarctic lands when
                             purchasing the meteorological station belonging
                             to the Scottish Dr. Bruce, on Laurie island,
                             South Orkney islands.
14 Dec 1911                Roald Amundsen of Norway reaches the South Pole;
                             on 18 Jan 1912 U.S. Capt. Robert Scott located
                             the South Pole but died on the return trip.
29 Nov 1929                U.S. explorer Richard E. Byrd made the first flight
                             over the South Pole from Little America Base. 
13 Jan 1941                German commandos board and capture two 
                             Norwegian factory ships in the sea north of 
                             Queen Maud Land. By the end of the next day, 
                             the Germans had taken possession of three 
                             factory ships and eleven catchers. The German 
                             Navy subsequently used the waters of the 
                             Peninsula and the sub-Antarctic islands as a 
                             haven from which they could venture forth to
                             attack allied shipping. Their main base was an
                             obscure harbor on Kergulen Island.
1943 - 1945                British dispatch a naval missions to Antarctica
                             (Operation Tabarin) which established the first
                             permanent British scientific bases.
31 Oct 1956                First permanent station at South Pole built
                             (Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station).
 1 Jul 1957 - 31 Dec 1958  International Geophysical Year (IGY), scientists
                             of 67 nations research the environment.
24 Nov 1957 -  2 Mar 1958  First successful land traverse of Antarctica by
                             British Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic expedition
                             (CTAE) under Vivian Fuchs covers Weddell Sea to
                             Ross Sea via the South Pole. 
16 Dec 1957                South Geomagnetic Pole reached for the first time
                             by a tractor traverse by the Soviet Union. 
 1 Dec 1959                Antarctic Treaty signed.
23 Jun 1961                Treaty entered into force.
13 Feb 1987 - Dec 1991     World Park Base a non-governmental year-round
                             base located at Cape Evans on Ross Island in
                             the Ross Dependency established by Greenpeace.
 1 Sep 2004                Secretariat of Antarctic Treaty inaugurated.
Argentina Claim
Australia Claim
British Claim
Chile Claim
France Claim
New Zealand Claim
Norway Claim
Brazil
Germany
South Africa
Antarctic Treaty
Secretariat

 

    Antarctic Treaty — The Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 Dec 1959 and entered into force on 23 Jun 1961, establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica. Administration is carried out through consultative member meetings.
    Summary: Article 1 - area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited, but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose; Article 2 - freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue; Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel, cooperation with the UN and other international agencies; Article 4 - does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims and no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force; Article 5 - prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes; Article 6 - includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves south of 60 degrees 00 minutes south and reserves high seas rights; Article 7 - treaty-state observers have free access, including aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment; advance notice of all expeditions and of the introduction of military personnel must be given; Article 8 - allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states; Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings take place among member nations; Article 10 - treaty states will discourage activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the treaty; Article 11 - disputes to be settled peacefully by the parties concerned or, ultimately, by the ICJ; Articles 12, 13, 14 - deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among involved nations; other agreements - some 200 recommendations adopted at treaty consultative meetings and ratified by governments; a mineral resources agreement was signed in 1988 but remains unratified; the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed 4 Oct 1991 and entered into force 14 Jan 1998; this agreement provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment through six specific annexes: 1) environmental impact assessment, 2) conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora, 3) waste disposal and waste management, 4) prevention of marine pollution, 5) area protection and management and 6) liability arising from environmental emergencies; it prohibits all activities relating to mineral resources except scientific research; a permanent Antarctic Treaty Secretariat was established in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
 

Antarctic Treaty Secretariat

Executive Secretaries (in Buenos Aires, Argentina)
 1 Sep 2004 -  1 Sep 2009  Johannes "Jan" Huber (Netherlands) (b. 1947)
 1 Sep 2009 -              Manfred Reinke (Germany)           (b. 1952)


Antarctic Treaty membership (50) 
Dates of 
Membership
Member Nations
23 Jun 1961 Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Soviet Union1, United Kingdom, United
States
14 Jun 1962 Czechoslovakia2
20 May 1965 Denmark
30 Mar 1967 The Netherlands
15 Sep 1971 Romania
19 Nov 1974 East Germany3
16 May 1975 Brazil
11 Sep 1978 Bulgaria
 5 Feb 1979 West Germany3
11 Jan 1980 Uruguay
16 Mar 1981 Papua New Guinea4
18 Mar 1981 Italy
10 Apr 1981 Peru
31 Mar 1982 Spain
 8 Jun 1983 China
19 Aug 1983 India
27 Jan 1984 Hungary
24 Apr 1984 Sweden
15 May 1984 Finland
16 Aug 1984 Cuba
28 Nov 1986 South Korea
 8 Jan 1987 Greece
21 Jan 1987 North Korea
25 Aug 1987 Austria
15 Sep 1987 Ecuador
 4 May 1988 Canada
31 Jan 1989 Colombia
15 Nov 1990 Switzerland
31 Jul 1991 Guatemala
28 Oct 1992 Ukraine
25 Jan 1996 Turkey
 1 Jan 1993
Czech Republic, Slovakia
24 May 1999 Venezuela
17 May 2001 Estonia
27 Dec 2006
Belarus
30 May 2008
Monaco
29 Jan 2010
Portugal
31 Oct 2011
Malaysia
 1 Mar 2012
Pakistan
1Dissolved 25 Dec 1991, succeeded by Russia. 2Dissolved 31 Dec 1992, from 1 Jan 1993 Czech Republic and Slovakia. 3East and West Germany united 3 Oct 1990. 4Date of deposit of notification of succession by Papua New Guinea; effective 16 Sep 1975, the date of its independence.


Antarctic Territorial Claims

Argentina

Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e
                Islas del Atlántico Sur flag

Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, and the Island of the South Atlantic (Tierra del Fuego, Antárctica y Islas del Atlántico Sur) Argentine claim, 74°W and 25°W; overlaps British and Chilean claims. Claimed: 8 Feb 1942


Australia

[flag of Australia]

Australian Antarctic Territory (Australian claim, 160°E to 142°E and 136°E to 45°E):
Claimed: 13 Jun 1933 


Chile

[Chilean Región XII Magallanes
                y Antártica Chilena]

Magellanes and Chilean Antarctica (Magallanes y Antárctica Chilena) Chilean claim, 53°W to 90°W; overlaps Argentine and British claims. Claimed: 6 Nov 1940


France

[flag of French Southern and
                Antarctic Lands]

French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises) Adelie Land; includes French claim, 142°E to 136°W. Claimed: 21 Nov 1924


New Zealand

[Flag of New Zealand]

New Zealand Antarctic Territory (Ross Dependency) New Zealand claim, 160°E to 150°W. Claimed: 30 Jul 1923


Norway

Flag of Norway

Norwegian Antarctic Territory (Dronning Maud Land) Queen Maud Land; Norwegian claim, 45°E to 20°E with Peter I Island. Claimed: 14 Jan 1938


United Kingdom

BAT flag

British Antarctic Territories (Graham Land) British claim, 20° W and 80°W; Argentine and Chilean claims overlap. Claimed: 21 Jul 1908


Unofficial Claims

Brazil

[flag of Programa
                Antártico Brasileiro]

Brazilian Antarctica (Antártica Brasileira) informal claim, 28°W to 53°W south of 60°; zone overlaps Argentine, British and Chilean claims. Proposed Zone of Interest designated: 1986


Germany

[North German Confederation
                1867-1870 (Germany)]

German New Swabia Land (Neuschwabenland) area explored 20°E to 10°W, overlaps Norwegian claim. Area was not formally claimed. explored: 19 Jan - 15 Feb 1939


South Africa

[Old flag of South Africa]

South African Antarctica South African unverified claim: 1963 - 1994?



Antarctica Territorial Disputes: The Antarctic Treaty freezes claims (see Antarctic Treaty Summary in Government type entry); sections (some overlapping) claimed by Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and U.K.; Australia, Chile, and Argentina claim Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rights or similar over 200 nm extensions seaward from their continental claims, but like the claims themselves, these zones are not accepted by other countries; 22 of 29 Antarctic consultative nations have made no claims to Antarctic territory (although Russia and the U.S. have reserved the right to do so) and do not recognize the claims of the other nations; no claims have been made in the sector between 90 degrees west and 150 degrees west; the International Whaling Commission created a sanctuary around the entire continent to deter catches by countries claiming to conduct scientific whaling; Australia has established a similar preserve in the waters around its territorial claim.






©  Ben Cahoon