Articles

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."...

Maritime jurisdiction

The Arctic Ocean belongs to whom

With no regard to imperialism, the five Arctic coastal states commit to defining their sovereign rights to the Arctic Ocean within the framework of the international law of the sea. Irrespective of this, all states are concerned by maritime jurisdiction in the Arctic.

Pratt-B128In August 2007 Russian scientists sent a submarine to the Arctic Ocean seabed at 90° North to gather data in support of Russia’s view that the North Pole is part of the Russian continental shelf. The expedition provoked a hostile reaction from some of Russia’s Arctic neighbours and prompted much media speculation about the possibility of a “new Cold War” over the resources of the Arctic.
While there are a number of disputes over maritime jurisdiction in the Arctic region – and potential for more as states define the areas in which they have exclusive rights over the resources of the continental shelf more than 200 nautical miles from their coastal baselines – the reality is not nearly as anarchic as some commentators have suggested. In fact, the Arctic littoral states...

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