International Cooperation

Antarctic Treaty System

The Antarctic Treaty System – it’s a set of rules that operate the activities of people and countries on the icy continent. All these rules are included in documents – conventions, recommendations, protocols.

The main document of the System is the Antarctic Treaty. It was signed on December 1, 1959 in Washington (USA), but entered into force only in 1961. The document defines and specifies what activities can be carried out in this region.

NASC Bilateral Agreements on Scientific and Technical Cooperation

The main tasks of international scientific and technical cooperation in Antarctica are:

  • implementation of joint of fundamental and applied research projects from the priority directions of development of science and technology;
  • publication of research results in rated professional journals, academic exchange and advanced training of scientific personnel;
  • optimization of human and material resources involved in expeditions; 
  • providing transportation and accommodation of personnel and cargo on board ships and at Antarctic stations of partner countries.

Considering this, the National Scientific Antarctic Center has concluded framework bilateral agreements with scientific institutions of 18 states, which in view of their scientific and technical potential and geographical location should be grouped as follows:

  1. The leading countries of the Euro-Atlantic region with developed national Antarctic programs, cooperation with which ensures the deep integration of Ukrainian scientists into the international scientific space (Great Britain, United States of America).
  2. Central and Eastern European countries with a similar level of development of National Antarctic Programs, cooperation with which provides deepening of regional cooperation (Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Latvia, Turkey etc.).
  3. Latin American countries, the material and technical base of which makes them the main logistics partners of Ukraine in view of the maintenance supply of Ukrainian Antarctic Expeditions (Argentina, Chile and Peru).

Scientific, technical and logistical cooperation with the listed states is of strategic importance, since all of them, including Ukraine, have or plan to construct stations or have declared their scientific interests in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

The number of international scientific projects is planned to be expanded, first of all with the scientific organizations of the states which have recently joined the Antarctic Treaty and are interested in carrying out joint research activities in Antarctica, which is a prerequisite for their full legal status of Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty.

Reporting and exchange of information with international organizations operating in the Antarctic Treaty System

Article VII of the Treaty requires each Party to freely exchange information about activities by giving advance notice of

(a) all expeditions to and within Antarctica, on the part of its ships or nationals, and all expeditions to Antarctica organized in or proceeding from its territory;

(b) all stations in Antarctica occupied by its nationals; 

(c) any military personnel or equipment intended to be introduced by it into Antarctica.

This requirement was later elaborated in various measures of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. The Environment Protocol of 1991 added important information exchange obligations on environmental matters. The information to be submitted can be divided into three categories:

  • pre-season information;
  • annual report;
  • permanent information.

Under direction of the ATCM the Secretariat has developed the Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES) as a central repository for this information.

Once a year (until October 1 of the current year) Ukraine submits an annual report and updates operational information (ship’s route, national expeditions, non-governmental expeditions), information on environmental protection (permitting system, area protection and management, relevant national legislation), scientific information (scientific projects carried out at “Vernadsky” station, availability of automatic registration stations / observatories). 

Full information:

National Reports of Ukraine to SCAR: