India will host the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM 46) and the 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP 26). 

More on the news

  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), through the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), will host the ATCM 46th and the CEP 26th from May 20 to 30, 2024, in Kochi, Kerala.
  • Convened annually under the Antarctic Treaty System, these meetings serve as forums for Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties and other stakeholders to address Antarctica’s pressing environmental, scientific, and governance issues.
  • Participation in the ATCM and CEP meetings is restricted to delegates designated by Parties, Observers, and invited Experts.
  • The agenda for the 46th ATCM includes strategic planning for Antarctica’s sustainable management, policy development, biodiversity research, and promoting awareness. 
  • The 26th CEP agenda focuses on environmental evaluation, impact assessment, and conservation of Antarctic biodiversity, among other topics.

National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR)

  • It is an autonomous institution established in 1998 under the Ministry of Earth Science. 
  • India’s scientific and strategic endeavors in the polar regions (the Arctic and Antarctic), the Himalayas, and the Southern Ocean are under the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) in Goa.

Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP)

  • The CEP was established under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol) in 1991.
  • It advises the ATCM on environmental protection and conservation in Antarctica. 

The Antarctic Treaty

  • It was signed in 1959 and entered into force in 1961, established Antarctica as a region dedicated to peaceful purposes, scientific cooperation, and environmental protection.
  • India has been a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty since 1983.
  • India participates in the decision-making process along with the other 28 Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty. 


  • India’s first Antarctic research station, Dakshin Gangotri, was established in 1983 (abandoned in 1990). 
  • At present, India operates two year-round research stations: Maitri (1989) and Bharati (2012).
  • The enactment of the Antarctic Act in 2022 further solidified India’s dedication to the principles of the Antarctic Treaty.

The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS)

  • ATS established in 2014 serves as the administrative hub for the Antarctic Treaty System. 
  • It coordinates the ATCM and CEP meetings, reposits and disseminates information, and facilitates diplomatic communication, exchanges, and negotiations related to Antarctic governance and management 


  • The ATCM and meetings of the CEP are pivotal in the international community’s ongoing efforts to safeguard Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem and promote scientific research in the region.
  • The hosting of the 46th ATCM and 26th CEP meeting reflects India’s growing role as a responsible global stakeholder in efforts to preserve Antarctica for future generations.
  • India is looking forward to fostering meaningful exchanges of knowledge and expertise to advance the shared goals of environmental conservation and scientific research in the Antarctic region.

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