© Ricardo Matias, Jukes Liu, Linde van Bets, Henrik Christiansen, Quentin Jossart (left to right)
On December 1st, 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 nations, setting aside nearly 10% of the Earth "forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes... in the interests of all mankind." The Antarctic Treaty became the first nuclear-arms agreement and the first institution to govern all human activities in an international space (a region beyond sovereign jurisdictions). As a legacy of the 2009 Antarctic Treaty Summit (www.atsummit50.aq) – celebrating the first fifty years of international peace and cooperation under the Antarctic Treaty – Our Spaces initiated Antarctica Day in 2010. Antarctica Day is an annual event to build global awareness of this landmark institution, celebrating this milestone of peace in our civilization with hope and inspiration for future generations. Growing from 14 nations during its first year, Antarctica Day 2011 involved participants in 28 countries with activities embraced by diverse governmental and non-governmental organizations facilitating direct involvement of schools, teachers and students. Antarctica Day is an opportunity to demonstrate how diverse nations can work together peacefully, continuously using science as a global language of cooperation for decision making beyond national boundaries.
Goals of Antarctica Day:
- To demonstrate how diverse nations can work together peacefully, using science as a global language of cooperation for decision making beyond national boundaries.
- Provide strategies for students learning about Antarctica through art, science and history.
- Increase collaboration and communication between classrooms, communities, researchers and government officials around the world.
- Provide a focus for polar educators to build on each year.