The United States updates its policy on Antarctica: More protections for the environment and scientific research

US President Joe Biden. EFE/EPA/AL Drago / Pool

President of the United States, Joe BidenThis Friday saw the signing of a new National Security Memorandum for Antarctica, which reaffirms the United States' commitment to protecting the region. Environmental importance and indicated that he would consider It is expanding its fleet of icebreakers to implement its goals.

The new memorandum, which establishes United States policy toward the region, replaces what has been in place until now and was drafted in 1994 during Bill Clinton's presidency (1993-2001).

With the new memorandum, the White House indicated in a statement that the United States wants To protect Antarctica's environmentMaintain the area centrally Scientific inquiryPartly to protect the continent Peaceful international cooperation And sure Environmental protection.

In a statement, Washington said the Atlantic Treaty “has succeeded in maintaining peace in the Antarctic region by freezing conflicting territorial claims, prohibiting military operations that do not support scientific research or any other peaceful purpose, prioritizing science and the environment. Protection over commercial interests, banning mining for non-scientific purposes, and transparency and Encouraging cooperation.”

Members of the US Coast Guard work on a vessel used as an icebreaker (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

“The United States, represented by the State Department in ATS organizations, will work with international partners through ATS to advance peace and science in the region, and foster international cooperation while protecting U.S. national interests,” the letter said. From the White House.

“The United States will continue to use all available tools to ensure the effectiveness of the current system governing Antarctica, including the expansion of the polar icebreaker fleet”.

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With this new memorandum, the United States points to four pillars. “Conserve the relatively pristine environment of the Antarctic region and its associated ecosystems; preserve and pursue unique opportunities for scientific research and understanding of Antarctica's relationship to global environmental change; maintain the Antarctic region as part of international cooperation exclusively reserved for peaceful purposes; and protect and preserve the Antarctic region's living resources and ecosystems.” Make sure.

The US, which has three research stations in Antarctica, pointed out that thanks to the treaty system that governs the region, it has been able to carry out “15 amazing studies at facilities” located on the continent.

“We remain vigilant against actions by countries that threaten US national interests by fomenting international discord in the Antarctic region,” the White House said.

The 1959 treaty was signed by 12 countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia), along with dozens of others.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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