Information on the Antarctic

Antarctica - mountains and sky Enlarge image (© Colourbox) New Zealand

The Antartic is a vast region outside state control subject to a system of internal agreements. Its core document is the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. It is made up of 50 nations, among them Germany which joined in 1979.  The Antarctic Treaty governs the area south of the 60° southern latitude and among other things regulates the use of the Antarctic region for peaceful purposes only, expressly prohibiting any military use. It guarantees the freedom of scientific research and thus international co-operation in the region. The sovereignty demands by the seven participating member states (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Great Britain and Norway) on parts of the region are left open in the Treaty on purpose and at the same time, "frozen" for the validity period of the Treaty (see Art. IV). Germany refrains from making a territorial claim.

Information on Antarctica by the German Foreign Office

Information by the German Federal Environtment Office

Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty

New Zealand, by virtue of its geographical proximity, is an important starting point for research and economic activities in the Antarctic region.  "Christchurch", with its International Antarctic Centre and important port and airport connecting with the South Polar region, is the "capital" of the region.

Antarctic Research and New Zealand research organisations

R/V POLARSTERN with penguins

New Liability Rules for Antarctica

On 18 January 2017 the German cabinet adopted the draft Antarctica Liability Act. This act aims to further improve the protection of the environment in Antarctica. The Liability Annex to the Protocol ...

World's largest marine reserve established as Marine Sanctuary

A significant step towards global marine protection has been reached. NZ and 25 countries, among them Germany, have agreed in creating the world's largest marine sanctuary of over a 1.55 million km2 in Antarctica's Ross Sea.

Information on the Antarctic

Antarctica flag

The Antarctic Research by the Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI)

Logo AWI

The Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven is a world-reknown leading polar and oceanic research facility.  Founded in 1980, the institute employs more than 1000 staff.  As the Helmholtz-Centre...

New Zealand and the Antarctic Region

Logo AntarcticaNZ

New Zealand is an important participant among the countries conducting research and sustainable management of the Antarctic. "AntarcticaNZ", a Government institution founded for this purpose, takes care of the New Zealand interests in the Southern Polar region.  The New Zealand antartic research field is well developed and closely co-operates with German research centres. Please click on the following links for the most important New Zealand Antarctic research organisations: