Antarctica Treaty System

This page provides information on the multilateral environmental agreements that make up the Antarctic Treaty System.

About the Antarctic Treaty System

New Zealand’s interests in protecting the environment of Antarctica have a long history. The main purpose of the Antarctic Treaty System is to ensure 'in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord'.

The Antarctic Treaty System includes the:

  • Antarctic Treaty 1959, which New Zealand ratified on 1 November 1960
  • Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, 1991, which New Zealand ratified on 22 December 1994
  • Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, 1972, which New Zealand signed on 9 June 1972
  • Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, 1980 (CCAMLR), which New Zealand ratified on 8 March 1982.

Find out more

You can find further information on the Antarctic Treaty System and New Zealand’s implementation on the following websites.