Parties to Antarctic Treaty to meet in India

The next, 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and the 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty will be held in Koch, India, on 20–30 May 2024. More than 350 participants are expected to attend the meeting.

The ATCM convenes annually to discuss matters related to the Antarctic Treaty, and the Consultative Parties have the right to participate in the decision-making. There are now 29 Consultative Parties in all. Finland acceded to the Antarctic Treaty in 1984 and was granted Consultative Party status in 1989. Finland’s own research station Aboa is located in Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.

Research for peaceful purposes at the heart of the Treaty

The central purpose of the Antarctic Treaty is to dedicate Antarctica to peaceful scientific research, to comprehensively protect the Antarctic ecosystems and to promote international cooperation. The Treaty precludes future territorial claims on the continent and prohibits any measures of a military nature, nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste material in Antarctica.

The treaty was supplemented in 1991 with the Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection, which prohibits mineral resource activities for other purposes than scientific research.

Meeting in India to focus on environmental protection, climate and emperor penguins

The main themes will be monitoring the state of and protecting the Antarctic environment, climate change, the prevention of marine pollution and the conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora. The meeting will also discuss issues related to scientific research, research stations and expeditions in Antarctica. As regards the conservation of species, upgrading the conservation status of emperor penguins and listing the species as specially protected species will be discussed.

The meeting will also address the impacts and consequences of the steadily growing number of tourist expeditions to Antarctica. The work on this was started at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Helsinki a year ago.


Johanna Lammi, Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs/Department for Europe, tel. +358 295 350966