Antarctic Treaty

Shared research stations in Antarctica: The holy grail of international cooperation, or just a nice idea?

The evolution of the Antarctic Treaty System has established scientific research, international cooperation in science and environmental protection as the main pillars in which Antarctic activities, management and governance are based. But Antarctic research stations are still operated by a single Nation, with the exception of Concordia, the uniq bi-national base operated jointly by France and Italy.

HalleyIVThe placement of infrastructure on certain places in Antarctica has long been played a practical, ritual and symbolic role in safeguarding (or countering) territorial claims and of keeping a foothold in a region recognised as terra nullius. Many research stations were established before the signature of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, and it could be assumed that one of the key motivations to establish them concerned asserting territorial interests by exerting effective occupation. However, Art. IV of the Antarctic Treaty puts territorial claims on hold, and establishes that "no acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica."...

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