Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

[pib] 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP)  


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Climate Change; Madrid Protocol; Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP);

Mains level: NA

Why in the News? 

The 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) is set to be held in Kochi, Kerala.

26th CEP Agenda

  • Review of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol).
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of existing Environmental Protection Measures.
  • Identification of areas for potential enhancement or amendment to strengthen environmental conservation efforts.

What is the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP?

    • It was formed as part of the Environmental Protocol (Madrid Protocol, 1991) to the Antarctic Treaty, which came into force in 1998.
    • Aim: To advice and formulate recommendations on environmental protection measures in the Antarctic region.
    • Composition: It consists of representatives from the consultative parties to the Antarctic Treaty, which includes countries active in Antarctic research and governance.
  • Functions:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): The CEP oversees the EIA process for activities conducted in the Antarctic region to ensure they minimize environmental impacts.
  • Site Inspections: It conducts inspections of Antarctic facilities and activities to verify compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Scientific Research: The CEP promotes scientific research on Antarctic ecosystems and advises on measures to conserve biodiversity.
  • Waste Management: It develops guidelines for waste management and pollution prevention in the Antarctic, aiming to minimize human impact on the environment.
  • Policy Formulation: The CEP formulates policies and guidelines related to environmental protection in the Antarctic Treaty.

Back2Basics:  Madrid Protocol, 1991

  • The Madrid Protocol refers to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
  • It is an international agreement that was adopted in 1991 and entered into force in 1998.
  • Key aspects of the Madrid Protocol include:
  1. Environmental Principles: The Protocol outlines principles for the protection of the Antarctic environment, including the conservation of living resources, the prevention of pollution, and the protection of wilderness and scientific values.
  2. Designation of Protected Areas: It designates certain areas of Antarctica as specially protected areas (SPAs) and sites of special scientific interest (SSSI), where specific environmental protection measures apply to safeguard their ecological, scientific, and aesthetic values.
  3. Waste Management: It establishes guidelines and regulations for waste management and pollution prevention in Antarctica, aiming to minimize human impact on the environment and prevent pollution of the Antarctic ecosystem.
  4. Prohibition of Mineral Resource Activities: The Protocol prohibits all mineral resource activities, including exploration and exploitation, in Antarctica. This provision aims to preserve the pristine and fragile nature of the Antarctic environment and prevent the potential environmental damage associated with mineral extraction.
  5. Consultative Mechanisms: The Protocol establishes mechanisms for consultation and cooperation. This includes the CEP, which provides advice and recommendations on environmental matters to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM).



[2021] How do the melting of the Arctic ice and glaciers of the Antarctic differently affect the weather patterns and human activities on the Earth? Explain.

[2011] The formation of ozone hole in the Antarctic region has been a cause of concern. What could be the reason for the formation of this hole?

(a) Presence of prominent tropospheric turbulence; and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons.

(b) Presence of prominent polar front and stratospheric clouds; and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons.

(c) Absence of polar front and stratospheric clouds; and inflow of methane and chlorofluorocarbons.

(d) Increased temperature at polar region due to global warming.

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