APECS was invited by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) to submit a paper to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in Punta Arenas, Uruguay. SCAR then presented this paper to Antarctic policy makers and advisors, which showcased the work of APECS in the political arena and was evidence for the international recognition that APECS receives.
ATCMs are conducted annually and represent the main forum for the discussion of current Antarctic policy, science and logistical issues and for political decision-making. ATCMs are generally closed meetings, i.e. they can only be attended by invited parties/organisations. Antarctic Treaty Parties and other Antarctic stakeholder organisations, such as SCAR, COMNAP, CCAMLR; IAATO, etc., are invited to send their representatives to ATCMs and, if they have consultative status, are able to vote on decisions.
SCAR is an invited observer to ATCMs and can, in this capacity, table matters that should be discussed by the Antarctic Treaty Parties and matters that the Parties should be made aware of. As such, SCAR can present papers on SCAR activities or issues of concern, but SCAR can also invite other stakeholders to submit a paper that will be presented by SCAR. As only select organisations that are not themselves observers or invited experts to ATCMs are asked to submit papers that will be presented by SCAR, it was a praticular honour for APECS to be given the opportunity of writing an Information Paper that introduces APECS to key Antarctic policy makers.
This paper will now enter Antarctic Treaty records and will be mentioned in the ATCM report, which will shortly be made available through the website of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. Once again, APECS has received significant support through its partner organisations, and once again, APECS has shown the impact it has on the polar community.