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Australian Antarctic Territory

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Postby rath » Fri May 01, 2009 6:42 am

Antarctic territorial claims.

The Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) is the part of Antarctica claimed by Australia and is the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any nation. It consists of all the islands and territory south of 60° S and between 44°38' E and 160° E, except for Adélie Land (136°11' E to 142°02' E), which divides the territory into Western AAT (the larger portion) and Eastern AAT. It is bounded by Queen Maud Land in the West and by Ross Dependency in the East. The area is estimated at 5,896,500 km².[1] The territory is inhabited only by the staff of research stations. The Australian Antarctic Division administers the area primarily by maintaining three year-round stations (Mawson, Davis and Casey), which support various research projects.


Australia is among seven nations which have claimed territory in Antarctica. These claims are based on discovery and effective occupation of the claimed area and are legal so far as each nation's laws are concerned. Three countries -- the United Kingdom, Chile and Argentina - have overlapping claims in the Antarctic.

Some countries explicity recognise these claims, some have a policy of not recognising any claims in Antarctica, and others reserve the right to make a claim of their own.

The Antarctic Treaty puts aside the potential for conflict over sovereignty by providing that nothing that occurs while the Treaty is in force will enhance or diminish territorial claims. Member states cannot make any new claims while the Treaty is in force.
Australian Antarctic Territory

Australian Antarctic Territory covers nearly 5.9 million square kilometres, about 42 percent of Antarctica and nearly 80 percent of the total area of Australia itself.

The Australian claim is based on a long historical association with this part of Antarctica. Australia's Douglas Mawson (later Sir Douglas Mawson) led a group of Australians and New Zealanders in the 1911 to 1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition which had bases at Commonwealth Bay, south of Tasmania, and the Shackleton Ice Shelf south of Perth. This expedition explored extensively along the coast near the bases.

Mawson also led the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) of 1929 to 1931. During this expedition Mawson claimed what is now Australian Antarctic Territory as British sovereign territory. Early in 1933, Britain asserted sovereign rights over the claimed territory and placed the territory under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia.


That part of the Territory in the Antarctic seas which comprises all the islands and territories, other than Adelie Land, situated south of the 60th degree south latitude and lying between the 160th degree east longitude and the 45th degree east longitude, is hereby declared to be accepted by the Commonwealth as a Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth, by the name of the Australian Antarctic Territory.


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(The Red area is Australian territory)

The Madrid Protocol: a singular achievement

Australia decided in 1989 that it would not ratify a planned regime to control mineral resource activity in Antarctica, but instead opted to seek the support of Antarctic Treaty countries for full environmental protection for the continent and its surrounding seas. The Madrid Protocol, signed by Treaty members in that city in 1991, was a direct result of this initiative pursued by Australia, France, Italy and Belgium. It was a landmark agreement in the 30 year history of the Antarctic Treaty.

The Protocol places an indefinite ban on mining or mineral resource activity in Antarctica, designating the Antarctic as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science. It provides a multinational, codified set of environmental standards (Antarctica is the only continent for which this applies), and creates a new system of protected areas. The Protocol establishes environmental principles for the conduct of all activities, which must be assessed for their potential environmental impact before they are undertaken, and provides guidelines for conservation of Antarctic flora and fauna, managing and disposing of waste, and preventing marine pollution.

As a signatory to the Protocol, Australia acted quickly to impose stronger environmental protection measures to its Antarctic activities, notably through introduction of an environmental impact assessment process. In 1994 Australia completed enactment of legislation to ratify the Protocol, which means that all Australians are bound by law to observe its provisions.
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Postby rath » Fri May 01, 2009 7:32 am

What lies below? Riches beyond our imagination

2007 - Australia wins claim to huge Antarctic sea trench.

It's deep, dark and mysterious - and Australia is claiming a as its own, writes James Woodford.

Imagine a narrow trench nearly seven kilometres deep and 600km long under savagely wild and isolated polar seas, where an entire ecosystem totally unknown to science is thought to be thriving.

The only glimpse humans can forseeably obtain into this freezing, black, high-pressure, dangerously volcanic world is via seismic-testing beams fired from ships as they dodge icebergs.

- the Hjort Trench south of Macquarie Island is part of 4 million square kilometres of seafloor that now belong to Australian.

The trench has long been known to mariners but until 2000 there had never been an attempt to map it or try to determine its depth.

It is such a dramatic feature because it is the point at which the Pacific and Australian plates meet each other. The slipping and colliding of the plates there has caused some of the world's strongest earthquakes. The most recent record-breaker was a tremor that measured 8.2 on the Richter scale in 1989.

Geoscience Australia's Phil Symonds, who co-ordinates the science behind Australia's Law of the Sea claim, says recent work has shown the trench is 6.8km deep. If it becomes part of Australia, it will be the deepest area of our marine jurisdiction. On the eastern side of the chasm is a rock rampart that falls almost vertically from a depth of 2km to 6.8km. In places the trench is just 10km wide.

"You are looking at a 4000-metre high escarpment down into the trench," Mr Symonds said. "It would be pretty mind-boggling to see. The thing that amazes me is how little we know about it.

"It sounds like a cliche but we truly know a lot more about about some of the planets - certainly Mars and the Moon - than we know about the Hjort Trench. There is still so much Australian marine territory that we know nothing about."

Geoscience Australia collected the data to support the Australian bid for territory.


The win by Australia will bring the nation's total area of ocean kingdom to 12.6 million sq km, dwarfing the continental landmass of 7.6 million sq km.

& as such means Australia will have one of largest ocean estates of any nation.

Under the Law of the Sea, Australia is entitled to claim an exclusive economic zone. Set at 200 nautical miles from the coastline, it gives the rights to the fish in the water column, the seabed and mineral or petroleum beneath the bottom.

However, a nation can also apply to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for control of areas where the continental shelf can be proved to extend beyond the 200 nautical mile limit.

Under commission rules, nations are entitled to claim all areas 60 nautical miles beyond the point where the continental margin rises. Another, more complex, formula is based on the thickness of sediment at the foot of the shelf.

To make the claim, the Federal Government has had to fund 11 marine surveys since 1994 off some of Australia's remotest islands, including Heard and Macquarie.


Jurisdiction over this extended continental shelf, however, does not give the right to control the water column, merely the seabed and below the seabed.

Even though it is not yet known what benefits the new territories will bring, the Australian Government had decided to claim them.

"Ultimately, the thing is the resource and environmental aspects," Mr Symonds said. "We have to tie these places up for Australia."

Currently the technology does not exist to make deep-sea petroleum extraction economically viable, but Mr Symonds said Australia needed to control the areas in case one day such mining was possible.

"One of the more interesting possibilities is the biological resources.

"When [we] get into these deep ocean habitats, we might expect the biochemistry of these organisms to be quite unusual and potentially useful."
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Postby mael » Tue May 05, 2009 7:08 am

Let's see Oz try to defend its claim against anyone who disagrees. :lol:

If something interesting is found there which can be converted to cash then you know what will happen, don't you. :roll:
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Postby rath » Wed May 06, 2009 11:00 pm

mael wrote:Let's see Oz try to defend its claim against anyone who disagrees. :lol:

If something interesting is found there which can be converted to cash then you know what will happen, don't you. :roll:




Let's see Oz try to defend its claim against anyone who disagrees


:lol: ...... Another stupid statment by mael ....... :roll:


You mean like Japan, China, France, USA, & all the other nations who tryed to block Australia's claime in the United Nations & the international / World courts.


& FAILED. :lol: :lol: :lol:


You blow hard.

:roll:
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Postby mael » Wed May 06, 2009 11:34 pm

You can say you own the moon and it would amount to the same.

Sober up.
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Postby Tairaa » Thu May 07, 2009 3:01 pm

Yeap. Pretty much, I'm pretty sure that very few countries honour ownership of Antarctica and her land.

But hey... Since no one wants to be there at the moment have a hay day.
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd."
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Postby rath » Thu May 07, 2009 10:40 pm

Tairaa wrote:Yeap. Pretty much, I'm pretty sure that very few countries honour ownership of Antarctica and her land.

But hey... Since no one wants to be there at the moment have a hay day.



Since no one wants to be there at the moment have a hay day


Tell that to all the countries who are trying to get the united nation to over turn Australia's ownership of Antartic territory.

al'a China ..... Japan ....... South American nations.

China sure seems keen to stake a claim & if not for Australia they would be there in larger numbers right now.
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Postby Tairaa » Thu May 07, 2009 11:43 pm

Oh they're already disputing the claims? I see.. Well I can at least offer a whole hearted "good luck" and hope your country comes out good. :)
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd."
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Postby rath » Sun May 10, 2009 11:26 pm

Tairaa wrote:Oh they're already disputing the claims? I see.. Well I can at least offer a whole hearted "good luck" and hope your country comes out good. :)



Oh they're already disputing the claims? I see


Yep.

& they are getting more & more vocal on Antartica as it melts away.

& Australia win in the U.N on the Hjort trench has only upset the world further.

So they feel if they dont have a win soon, they will have no legal bases for a claim further down the road.
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Postby Tairaa » Mon May 11, 2009 9:24 am

Well Antarctica can only melt down so far, as there is land mass underneath the ice right? So it's better then a claim in the Arctic. ;)
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd."
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