China mulls Antarctic protection law

February 16th, 2012 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Feb 16 (IANS) Chinese entities planning to carry out activities like scientific research and tourism in the Antarctic will need government approval henceforth.

The government will regulate human activities in the Antarctic to protect its fragile environment, China Daily reported Thursday.

Activities, including research, tourism, fishing and transportation must get government approval, according to a draft law by the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration.

The rule also bans mining and military activities in the region. Hefty fines and travel bans will be imposed if anyone was found guilty of pollution.

The administration has finished drafting the law and submitted it to the government for its perusal.

China acceded to the Antarctic Treaty in 1983. The protocol is to protect the Antarctic environment.

China has been sending scientific expeditions annually since 1984 to the area. The most recent expedition was launched in November last year.

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