Antarctica Day, the 1st December, is held each year to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Antarctic Treaty, which took place on 1 December 1959.
The Antarctic Youth Coalition has put together an online Antarctica Day Festival so that we can all join in the celebration and learn more about the significance and ongoing importance of this unique icy continent.
About the Antarctic Youth Coalition
In February 2020, five young leaders, representing the five official Antarctic gateway cities, developed a new Antarctic Youth Coalition (AYC). These five passionate young Antarctic ambassadors will focus on devising youth engagement networks in their five cities to create new connections among these cities and develop a sense of Antarctic custodianship unique to all the gateways.
Hobart is one of the five Antarctic Gateway Cities along with Punta Arenas (Chile), Christchurch (New Zealand), Ushuaia (Argentina) and Cape Town (South Africa), from where ships and aircraft transport expeditioners and supplies to and from Antarctica.
The importance of Antarctica Day acknowledges Antarctic’s unique governance system (the Antarctic Treaty ) which is celebrated around the world each year on the 1st of December.
Australia was one of 12 original signatories to the Treaty and plays a leading and influential role in international Antarctic affairs. In 2020, the number of parties to the Treaty is 54, reflecting the increasing international recognition of the scientific and environmental values of Antarctica.
The Antarctic Treaty ensures:
- freedom of scientific investigation and exchange of scientific findings
- prevents the militarisation of Antarctica, and
- accommodates the positions of all Parties on issues of sovereignty
The Treaty has been a hallmark of international cooperation and is widely recognised for its success in promoting international cooperation on scientific endeavour and preventing conflict in the region.
Subsequent international agreements, including the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, form important components of the ‘Antarctic Treaty system’ and establish a comprehensive framework for the protection and conservation of the Antarctic region.
Antarctica Day encourages participation from around the world with the aim to share, interpret and cherish the values associated with Antarctica for the benefit of present and future generations.