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Ambassador for the Year of Science

Science Network

20/03/2013

Joint German-South African inspection in Antarctica

(c) Dr. Martin Ney

Germany and South Africa conducted inspections of four stations in Dronning Maud Land from January 09 - 29th 2013, under the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty and Madrid Protocol. This was the first inspection by South Africa, while Germany designated observers to joint inspections with France in 1989 and the United Kingdom in 1999.

The inspection team used the DROMLAN (Dronning Maud Land Air Network) to conduct the inspection over a twenty day period, flying from Cape Town to Troll runway on 09 January 2013 and back to Cape Town on 29 January 2013.
The inspection team visited the following stations:

  • Troll station on 14 January 2013
  • Halley VI station on 15 January 2013
  • Princess Elisabeth station on 18/19 January 2013
  • Maitri station on 20 January 2013

The inspection team consisted of five observers designated by the Federal Government of Germany, and by six observers designated by the Government of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:

Germany

  • Ambassador Dr. Martin Ney (The Legal Advisor, Federal Foreign Office)
  • Ms. Andrea Heyn (Unit System Earth, Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
  • Mr. Fritz Hertel (Protection of the Antarctic, Federal Environment Agency)
  • Dr. Uwe Nixdorf (Director, Logistics and Science Platforms, Alfred Wegener Institute)
  • Dr. Hartwig Gernandt (Senior Advisor, Logistics, Alfred Wegener Institute)

South Africa

  • Mr. Henry Valentine (Director, Southern Oceans and Antarctic Support, Department of Environmental Affairs)
  • Mr. Andre Stemmet (Senior State Law Advisor, Department of International Relations and Cooperation)
  • Dr. Gilbert Siko (Director, Science Platforms, Department of Science and Technology)
  • Ms. Carol Jacobs (Integrated Environmental Authorisations, Department of Environmental Affairs)
  • Mr. Potlako Khati (Integrated Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs)
  • Mr. Sabelo Malaza (Director, Compliance Monitoring, Department of Environmental Affairs)

Further Information:
Article VII of the Antarctic Treaty provides that each Consultative Party has the right to designate observers to undertake inspections in Antarctica. Observers have complete freedom of access at any time to any and all areas in Antarctica. Parties are obliged to have all areas of Antarctica, including stations, installations and equipment, open at all times to inspection by designated observers. This also applies to all ships and aircraft at points of discharging or embarking cargoes or personnel in Antarctica. The provision for inspection is a key element of the Treaty and is designed to promote the objectives of the Treaty and ensure observance of its provisions.

Article 14 of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Protocol) also provides for the conduct of inspections, consistent with Article VII of the Treaty, to promote protection of the Antarctic environment and ensure compliance with the Protocol. The Protocol requires that reports of inspections are sent to the Parties whose facilities are subject to inspection and that, after those Parties have been given the opportunity to comment, the report and any comments on it are circulated to the Committee on Environmental Protection, considered at the next Treaty meeting and then made publicly available.