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1 DRAFT resolution No. 169/X RECOMMENDS the ratification of the TREATY on ANTARCTICA Antarctica, by some called "the last frontier", is a continent extremely Rico in natural resources, including marine, but also minerals, a delicate ecosystem that supports a priceless heritage of biodiversity and plays an important role in regulating the climate of the planet, serving as the refrigeration system of the Earth through the exchanges of heat processed at the level of the oceans and the atmosphere.
Initially signed by twelve countries (United Kingdom, South Africa, Belgium, Japan, United States of America, Norway, France, New Zealand, Russia, Argentina, Australia and Chile), the "Antarctic Treaty", in force since 1961, was born of the desire to consecrate the Antarctic continent, or Antarctica, at the South Pole, exclusively for peaceful purposes, to scientific research free to the protection of the environment and nature and the promotion of international cooperation.
Recognizing the superior interest of all mankind in preserving the entire region South of the parallel of 60 international conflicts of the service and the overfishing of its resources and your destruction, the text of the Treaty expressly prohibited all activities of a military nature, as well as weapons testing, nuclear explosions or the deposit of radioactive waste assuming the signatories desire to halt the race also exploitation of mineral resources that would lead not only to greater degradation (almost 90%) of fresh water on the planet, the polar ice, as would represent the death of a valuable and sensitive ecosystem and all the wildlife there. 2 right now are already 45 countries subscribe , 16 of which are our partners in the European Union, participating in this global plan is to keep Antarctica a continent truly international without owners or gentlemen, a space of freedom, devoted to research and to knowledge sharing, meet regularly in the meetings of the Consultative members of the Antarctic Treaty, which adopted recommendations and annexes shall be added to the original text by keeping the Treaty, and the principles it set out, alive and running.
However, it will never be too much strengthen the Treaty at a time when the pressure and the human footprint on the planet worsens, the fruit of human societies with productive models and excessively dependent on development of mineral resources and energy, and the fossils mainly real danger, in the maelstrom of unsustainable exploitation of planetary resources, any region of the globe to be spared.
The importance and the potential of scientific research in Antarctica, apart from the obvious benefits it brings in terms of current knowledge, as well as the Windows of opportunity that opens also to our country and to our researchers to participate in the adventure of research and preservation of that continent, is still a special interest in the relief features in the area of study of the history and evolution of the climate of our planet (climatology) increasingly on the agenda by the urgent need to keep up with the mutations of today known by the phenomenon of climate change and global warming on the planet.
Indeed, Antarctica was, for example, and still is, an eyewitness of one of the most well known phenomena, the hole in the ozone layer ", today happy and apparently in recession given the measures taken as a result of the Montreal Protocol (1987) by which banned the production and consumption of a set of the main gases responsible for your destruction. Every year, every spring Polar (which occurs between 3 September and November), in virtue of the climatic particularities of the entire polar region, to the maximum extent of the "ozone hole", that is, the periodic reduction in maximum concentration of ozone in the upper atmosphere over the Poles, responsible for the increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin diseases (cancer) affect the vision and the immune system.
The regions of the Poles have been presented of the most sensitive to climate change, there meeting the most have suffered from global warming, visible in the polar ice caps melts in Alaska, Siberia and in several areas of Antarctica. Despite the importance that we know have the South Pole in regulating the global climate, the truth is the knowledge that the scientific community has about this phenomenon and how it works and affects ecosystems and consequently to all of us, is still very incomplete and needs to be strengthened.
Is justified, so the full interest that Portuguese investigators have shown through that region and which must be accompanied by a formal institutional involvement of Portugal taking the willingness to take part more actively in the conservation and study of that continent, recognizing the key role it plays in the global climate that all people of all countries and to all living things.
Portugal already is, since July 17 2006, associate member of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research-SCAR (Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research): Interdisciplinary Committee of the International Council for Science – allowing our country to develop programs of research in Antarctica, facilitating international cooperation in this area yet. The SCAR, is responsible, in addition to promote and coordinate scientific research in Antarctica, by providing objective and independent scientific advice to Consultative Meetings of the members of the Treaty, as well as other organizations, making recommendations in particular as regards conservation and safeguarding the environment.
4 approaching the next International Polar Year (API), biennial duration event (2007-2008), significant moment that must be seized to express more clearly the commitment of Portugal in this world design to protect and study the Antarctic continent, as has been argued by the main movers of the idea, the researchers that constitute the Portuguese Committee in charge of promoting the API and have been calling for accession on the part of our country to the Treaty of Antarctica.
So:-considering the importance for the future, to address the problem of climate change, the study and knowledge of fundamental regulatory role played by the Antarctic climate of our planet;
-Having regard to the need and interest to deepen the involvement of Portugal and the national scientific community in research and development or to develop research in the region;
-Whereas the International Polar Year 2007-2008, which will be celebrated also in our country for which there is already a National Committee recognized by the Government;
-Whereas promoting the safety of natural wealth, environmental and biodiversity while maintaining Antarctica free of the service resources, pollution, military or nuclear activities;
-Whereas Portugal should share the original spirit of the Treaty, of promoting peace, cooperation and scientific research free and shared and the promotion of the conservation of the natural heritage and environment: 5 the Assembly of the Republic shall act, in accordance with paragraph 5 of article. 166 of the Portuguese Constitution, recommending the Government to sign the Antarctic Treaty of 1961.
Palácio de s. Bento, December 13 2006.
The members of "Greens", Francisco Madeira Lopes Heloísa Apolónia
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