Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP)

Even though there is no Antarctic government, Antarctica does have its own administrative organisation. The Antarctic Treaty laid down that the Consultative Parties must convene at regular intervals for the purpose of information exchange and to consult on regulations concerning Antarctica.

Article 11 of the Environment Protocol establishes the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP), whose functions are defined in detail in Article 12, which states:
"The functions of the Committee shall be to provide advice and formulate recommendations to the Parties in connection with the implementation of this Protocol, including the operation of its Annexes, for consideration at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, and to perform such other functions as may be referred to it by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings."

The Committee also provides advice in the context of the Protocol on: the effectiveness of measures; the need to update and improve measures; environmental impact assessments, procedures for situations requiring urgent action, the Antarctic Protected Area system, inspection procedures, and the state of the Antarctic environment.

The Committee holds annual meetings in the framework of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM). Every contracting party to the Protocol may appoint a delegate to the ATCM. Observers and invited experts also attend the sessions. The CEP's work includes exchange among the Contracting Parties in the framework of Intersessional Contact Groups (ICG).

German Environment Agency's role in CEP

UBA is the national contact point for the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP Contact Point). UBA plays an active role within the Committee, one of whose duties includes chairing the ICG to draft guidelines for yachts in the Antarctic or the ICG on the introduction of non-native species to the Antarctic. UBA introduces its proposals in the form of information and working papers which have been coordinated at national level, thus ensuring that national-level proposals and new knowledge (gained from research projects) are taken up in the international environmental protection policies of the Parties to the Antarctic Treaty.

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