Antarctica has no native human inhabitants.
In the summer, which is January, Antarctica has about 4,115 people from twenty-three different countries.
In the Antarctic winter months of July and August, Antarctica has approximately 1,046 people from sixteen countries.
There are only 42 people that live in Antarctica year-round, who come together from eighteen countries.
In 1978, Emilio de Palma was the first baby ever born in Antarctica as noted in an investigation by the Argentinean Government to see if Antarctica was suitable for family life.
Just a note: Living in Antarctica means no telephone, radio broadcasting, television, or the Internet, which to some of us might be like murder.
But there are other sources of entertainment, too.
Bowling alleys are found in some stations and in the winter seasons of Antarctica, the MidWinter Festival takes place in the research centers of many countries where people engage in activities like movies, singing, and having fun.
Through the Antarctic Treaty, Antarctica has been preserved.
Antarctica is only the few areas of the world remaining where humans have not greatly changed the environment.
Today, some say that Antarctica should be a Wilderness Park of the world, where no development would be permitted.
In 1905, the International Geographic Congress, met in London, and agreed on making Antarctica the main focus of world exploration.
This summit started years of government sponsored national expeditions.
After the International Geophysical Year (IGY) held from 1957 to 58, in 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the idea of a treaty to preserve a lasting freedom, and a peaceful status for the continent.
The twelve leading countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in Washington on December 1, 1959 and was put into action on June 23, 1961.
It set-up the basis for government and for the legal management of Antarctica.
Governmental matters over Antarctica are decided at meetings in which member nations participate.
There are 42 member nations, 26 that vote and 16 nations that just participate.
7 of the 26 voting nations claim portions of Antarctica as national territory.
The U.S. and other nations do not have claims, but have retained the right to make a claim.
Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Norway, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have all claimed pieces of Antarctica, but the land is still not under any country's rule.
There are 14 articles to the Antarctic Treaty which starts with a preamble saying ". . .
that is in the interest 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."
Article I prohibits military activity and says that Antarctica can only be used for peaceful purposes such as scientific research.
Article II states that scientific investigation and cooperation between countries can continue.
Article III allows the transfer of information and personnel between countries under the supervision of the United Nations and other International Agencies.
Article IV defines no territorial boundaries in Antarctica nor does it allow any new claims while the treaty is in effect.
Article V makes it illegal to dispose of radioactive wastes in Antarctica, or to have nuclear explosives on Antarctica.
Article VI puts the treaty into effect in all land, and ice shelves below 60 degrees South latitude.
Article VII declares that treaty-state observers can access any stations, installations and equipment with advance notice of all affairs of state.
Article VIII gives power to the participating countries to regulate their own scientists and observers.
Article IX states that frequent meetings between member nations must take place.
Article X insures the preservation of the Treaty by member nations.
Article XI states that disagreements must be settled peacefully or by the I.C.J. Articles XII, XIII, and XIV must be constantly upheld, interpreted and amended by the member nations.
There have been over 170 adopted changes to the treaty.
These changes include the agreed measures for the conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora; convention for the conservation of Antarctic seals; convention on the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.
The Antarctic Conservation Act is part of the U.S. Constitution and allows for civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized and illegal deeds.
Antarctic Treaty serves as a model for peaceful international relations and cooperation.
In 1991, a 50 year ban on mining activity was secured to restore Antarctica for the future.