Antarctic Environmental Protection Act: permits

The Antarctic Environmental Protection Act prohibits Canadians and Canadian vessels where applicable, from undertaking the following activities, except where a permit has been granted or under circumstances described in the Act:

  • Activities related to mineral resources other than for scientific purposes
  • Interference with wildlife indigenous to the Antarctic
  • Introduction of animal or plant species that are not indigenous to the Antarctic
  • Any activity related to waste disposal
  • Any activity in a specially protected area

Permit applications must include environmental impact assessment, waste management plans and emergency plans. In some cases, the Minister may require that a permit applicant provide and maintain a security to cover potential costs needed to prevent, mitigate or remedy any adverse environmental impacts caused by the permit holder while in the Antarctic.

Photographer: Adam Jenkins
National Science Foundation
Date Taken: January 23, 2010

The Research Vessel NATHANIEL B. PALMER in Barilari Bay, Antarctic Peninsula

It is not necessary for everyone on an expedition, or everyone planning to carry out a specific activity in the Antarctic, to apply for a permit. One person may apply on behalf of others. The conditions of a permit apply to any person or vessel covered by that permit. A person who applies for and/or receives a permit is called a permit holder. The permit holder is responsible for the actions of every person and vessel covered by that permit. Permit application must be filled out and submitted to Environment Canada by a representative of an expedition or group.

Recognizing the global effort to implement the Protocol, and the desire to avoid duplication, written authorization from another nation that is a Party to the Madrid Protocol is an adequate substitute under the AEPA.

Applications are to be submitted to:

Permit application forms are appended to the Antarctic Environmental Protection Regulations. For a copy of the Regulations, the permit application form, or general inquiries, contact the office identified below. Permit applications must be directed to:

Marine Protection Programs
Environment Canada
Attn: Antarctic Environmental Program
351 St. Joseph Boulevard, 16th Floor
Place Vincent Massey
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3

Phone: 819-956-1313

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