Helsinki Antarctic meeting to stress urgency of climate action
Finland will host for the first time the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) from 29 May to 8 June 2023. Around 400 leading experts on Antarctica will gather in Helsinki.
The Helsinki ATCM wants to send a strong message to the international community about the urgency of climate action. Climate change is the greatest threat to Antarctica. The sea level rise caused by melting ice sheets is especially concerning, and its effects are felt even in the northern hemisphere.
Other topics on the ATCM agenda include maritime safety in the polar regions and growing tourism in Antarctica. Geopolitical interest in Antarctica has also risen in recent years.
The Antarctic Treaty ensures the use of Antarctica for peaceful research only, renounces any territorial claims and prohibits all measures of a military nature. It also bans nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste material in Antarctica. The treaty was supplemented in 1991 with the Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection, which prohibits mineral resource activities for other purposes than scientific research. The treaty has been a success so far, and it has protected Antarctica’s unique environment.
Finland has been a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty since 1989. The Finnish research station Aboa has produced world-class research results in areas such as composition of the upper atmosphere and transport of aerosols.
Tiina Jortikka-Laitinen, Head of the ATCM-45 Host Country Secretariat, tel. +358 295 350 176, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org