Problems arising from the development of mining activities in Antarctica
During the far-reaching discussions about whether to ratify the Wellington Convention, a whole series of alarmist news bulletins was circulated about the future of the Antarctic continent. The aim of the Office’s study was therefore to elucidate the possible hazards that the expansion of human activities could cause to the polar regions, with the support of the best French experts in these problems. The report concluded that there was no reason to give way to total pessimism and that in the short and medium term there was no serious threat to the Antarctic environment, but also concluded that it was essential to go farther than the Wellington Convention and definitively ban exploitation of that continent’s mineral resources. The new protocol signed on 4 October 1991 in Madrid makes provision, as proposed by the Office, for all activities other than scientific research to be forbidden for 50 years throughout the Antarctic continent.
Short title:
Mining in Antarctica
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Project leader:
Office Parlementaire d´Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques of the French Parliament (OPECST)