46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting


India is gearing up to host the esteemed 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM 46) and the 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP 26) in 2024.

GS-3 (Science and Technology)


  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), under the stewardship of the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), will convene the meetings from May 20 to 30, 2024, in Kochi, Kerala.
  • This initiative underscores India’s commitment to fostering global discourse on environmental conservation, scientific collaboration, and collective action in Antarctica.

Importance of the ATCM Meetings:

  • The ATCM and CEP gatherings play a crucial role in the ongoing international efforts to protect Antarctica’s delicate ecosystem and advance scientific research in the region.
  • Held annually within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty System, these meetings provide a platform for Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties and stakeholders to address critical environmental, scientific, and governance issues in Antarctica.

India’s Involvement in the Antarctic Treaty:

  • India has been a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty since 1983, actively participating in decision-making alongside the other 28 Consultative Parties.
  • With its inaugural Antarctic research station, Dakshin Gangotri, established in 1983, India currently operates two year-round research stations, Maitri (1989) and Bharati (2012), facilitating Indian Scientific Expeditions to Antarctica since 1981.
  • In 2022, India reinforced its commitment to the Antarctic Treaty by enacting the Antarctic Act.

Role of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat:

  • The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS), established in 2004, serves as the administrative nerve center for the Antarctic Treaty System.
  • It coordinates the ATCM and CEP meetings, manages information dissemination, facilitates diplomatic exchanges, monitors treaty compliance, and provides guidance on treaty implementation and enforcement matters.

Agenda of the 46th ATCM & 26th CEP:

  • The agenda for the 46th ATCM includes discussions on sustainable management of Antarctica and its resources, policy and legal frameworks, biodiversity conservation, climate change response, tourism regulation, and public awareness initiatives.
  • The 26th CEP will focus on environmental evaluation, climate change adaptation, marine conservation, and biodiversity conservation in Antarctica.