In 1820, Antarctica was spotted for the first time.
In 1959, 12 Countries signed a treaty of cooperation for Peace and Science. This was officially recognised as The Antarctic Treaty in 1961. Under this treaty, no one owns any part of Antarctica. All bases constructed are for scientific research. The objective of this international agreement is “to ensure that Antarctica is used for peaceful purposes, for international cooperation in scientific research, and does not become the scene or object of international discord”.
This treaty has been one of the rare successes of diplomacy in modern times, coming when the arms race was heating up, it threw up a glimmer of hope that humanity might not be as ruthless as it may seem.
However, this treaty expires in 2048, with the potential of then being re-negotiated to allow drilling and exploitation of natural resources.
This amazing continent holds major significance in balancing the planet's weather systems. Being 98 percent covered by ice which is 1.6 km thick on average, it holds 70 percent of the earth's fresh water. If this ice cover melts, sea levels will rise 200 feet.
The #antarcticamatters initiative aims to bring awareness about the significance of the Antarctic Treaty. It must not be allowed to be removed in the future.
All photos © Anand Puri. Follow the writer on Instagram: @TheAdventuresOfNando
Updated Date: May 13, 2017 14:47 PM