Antartica Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Air Force (IAF) has scaled seven highest peaks in every continent as part of its mountaineering expedition Mission Seven Summits. With this it became first organisation in India to achieve this unique feat.
The feat was achieved after team comprising five IAF mountaineers, led by Gp Capt RC Tripathi successfully scaled Mount Vinson in Antarctica, thus completing the assigned Mission. Mt Vinson is located 1200 km from the South Pole. It is the highest peak in Antarctica at 4,892 metres and one of the renowned “Seven Summits.” It is 21 km long and 13 km wide and lies within the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains.
After scaling of Mt Everest in 2005, IAF launched unique and unprecedented series of mountaineering expedition ‘Mission Seven Summits’. The mission aimed to fly tricolour and IAF flag on the highest peaks in every continent.
IAF always has promoted adventure activities among its personnel. In 2011, IAF’s women expedition had scaled Mt Everest successfully and in 2017 joint IAF-BSF women camel expedition covered 1386 Km distance along western border in 47 days. IAF is also committed to the cause of environment and in September 2017, IAF expedition to Mt Stok Kangri (Himalayas in Ladakh region of north-west India), restored the environment at base camp.
Antartica’s Ross Sea was declared as world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem.
It was declared after landmark international agreement among 24 countries and European Union in Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart, Australia.
- The Ross Sea is one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world. It covers 1.6 million square kilometers.
- MPA status to Ross Sea will bring blanket ban on commercial fishing across about three quarters of its area for 35 years.
- Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean is home to 38% of the world’s Adelie penguins, 30% of world’s Antarctic petrels and around 6% of world’s population of Antarctic minke whales.
- It is also home to huge numbers of krill, a staple food for species including whales and seals.
What is Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)?
- The CCAMLR was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. It is part of the Antarctic Treaty System.
- It was signed by 14 states and has been ratified by 35 states (including India) and the European Community
- Headquarters: Tasmania, Australia.
- Goal: Preserve marine life and environmental integrity in and near Antarctica
- The CCAMLR was established in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem and over-exploitation of several other marine resources in the Southern Ocean.