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India Hosted 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting &  26th Committee on Environmental Protection in Kerala

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India announces at 46th ATCM and CEP-26 plans to set up Antarctic research station Maitri-IIIndia has successfully hosted the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM-46) and the 26th Committee on Environmental Protection (CEP-26) from 20th to 30th May 2024 in Kochi, Kerala.

  • ATCM-46 was held under the theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (A Sanskrit phrase which means ‘one Earth, one family, one future’).
  • CEP-26, held from 20th to 24th May 2024, focused on a wide range of challenges and contributed to implementing the Environmental Protocol in Antarctica.

Note: ATCM 45–CEP 25 was held in Helsinki, Finland from 29th May 2023 to 8th June 2023.

About ATCM-46 and CEP-26: 

i.ATCM-46 and CEP-26 were hosted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES), Government of India, through the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa, with support from the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat.

ii.The event witnessed the participation of over 400 delegates from 56 countries.

Key People: 

i.ATCM-46 was inaugurated by Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of MoES; Ambassador Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Dr Shailesh Nayak, former Secretary of MoES and Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, Karnataka.

ii.Ambassador Pankaj Saran, former Deputy Adviser to the National Security Board, was elected as the Chair of the 46th ATCM.

iii.Dr Vijay Kumar, Scientist G-Adviser, MoES, was the Head of the Host Country Secretariat.

iv.Dr. M. Ravichandran, Secretary, MoES was the Head of the Indian delegation.


i.ATCM-46 and CEP-26 witnessed the reaffirmation of the Antarctic Treaty (1959) and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol, 1991) by the Parties.

ii.During the event, a customised “MyStamp” featuring the logo of ATCM-46 was released in collaboration with India Post.

iii.A mural themed ‘Species-rich Antarctica’ designed by school children was unveiled in collaboration with Germany, ASOC, and its partners.

This aims to enhance awareness of Antarctica amongst young minds.

iv.Following the advice of CEP-26, the Parties adopted 17 revised and new management plans for Antarctic Specially Protected Areas(ASPAs) and several modifications and additions to the list of Historic and Monument sites.

v.During the event, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju announced India’s plan to set up an Antarctic research station, Maitri-II.

Points to note: 

i.CEP-26 was focused on issues like sea ice change, environmental impact assessments, emperor penguin protection, and creating an international framework for environmental monitoring.

  • CEP-26 prioritised to develop an international framework for environmental monitoring in Antarctica.

ii.ATCM-46 promoted the use of renewable energy and encouraged efforts toward the implementation of biosecurity measures to reduce the risks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.

Side Events: 

Korean Polar Research Institute and Polar Cooperation Research Centre, Kobe University jointly organised a seminar “Changing Antarctic and Challenges Ahead” on 20th May 2024. This included 2 panel discussions on ‘Challenges in Antarctic governance’ and ‘Shared responsibilities and commitments for Antarctic future’.

About Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM):
The ATCM and CEP are high-level global annual meetings conducted under the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty, a multilateral agreement of 56 Contracting Parties signed in 1959.
ATCM was generally met once every two years from 1961 to 1994 and since 1994 the meetings are held annually.
Parties: 29 consultative parties and 28 non-consultative parties.
Executive Secretary– Albert Lluberas
Secretariat– Buenos Aires, Argentina