A Russian research vessel that has been prospecting for oil and natural gas in the Antarctic recently docked in Cape Town, South Africa, which sparked protests from environmental groups who believe the vessel’s operations violate the 1958 Antarctic Treaty that prohibits mineral exploration in the region.
Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental group held banners reading “Hands off Antarctica” as the vessel arrived, and South Africa’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government has friendly relations with Russia and is participating in a joint military exercise with them.
What can you do?
- Research the Antarctic Treaty and its 1998 amendment to understand the legal implications of mineral exploration and extraction in the region.
- Follow the news about the Russian research vessel and the protests against it to stay informed about the situation.
- Contact your local government representatives to express your opinion on the matter and urge them to take action.