The utility of inspections
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The inspection process is a core component of the Antarctic Treaty 1959 and the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty 1991. In the early days of the Antarctic Treaty, inspections conducted focussed on ensuring the demilitarisation of Antarctica and promotion and observance of the Treaty provisions. After adoption of the Environmental Protocol, inspections were then viewed as a systematic means of verifying that activities were conducted to minimise potential environmental impacts. Among the rights given to Treaty members is that of mutual inspection, whereby all sites and facilities including stations, vessels, protected areas and refuges are subject to inspection. Even with the challenges of operating in a highly political and complex jurisdictional environment 386 inspections have been conducted since 1962 involving 23 of the current 29 Treaty Parties. Significant practical and political achievements of the inspections include international collaboration to conduct joint inspections, an increased focus on environmental issues and improved information exchange between Treaty Parties, non-governmental operators and the international community. Recommendations for improving the inspection process are presented including adoption of an independent inspectorate, a formal schedule of inspections and mandatory reporting and follow-up through the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. The paper concludes that, despite significant challenges to the inspection regime, the process is a basic pillar of the Treaty system and inspections are a fundamental component of the Antarctic Treaty System.
- Syndicate Reports