Embassy News

Celebrating 8 years since the inauguration of Law – Racoviţă - Negoiţă Scientific Research Station in Antarctica

Romanian Embassy in Canberra welcomes the celebration, on February 20, 2014, of 8 years since the inauguration of the Law – Racoviţă – Negoiţă Scientific Research Station in Antarctica. H.E.Ambassador Nineta Bărbulescu underlined today the importance of the international scientific collaboration and friendship between Romania and Australia under the Antarctic Treaty. "Since 2005 Australia provided access to the Australian-Romanian scientific research station Law - Racoviţă (currently denomination Law – Racoviţă -Negoiţă), located in the Larsemann Hills of East Antarctica and that was a gesture highly appreciated by Romania and also a genuine proof of the worldwide recognition of a longstanding tradition of Romanian scientific research school and work in Antarctica, proudly initiated by Romanian Professor Emil Racoviţă, inter alia founder father of bio-speleology", said Ambassador Barbulescu. “I am in particular proud on the recent addition, in December, 2011 of Romanian scientist’s name Dr.Teodor Gheorghe Negoiţă’s to the denomination of this research station, as a recognition of the work done by a brave contemporary co-national. The serene image of Dr. Negoiţă (1946 - 2011), the promoter of Romanian contemporary school of polar research in Antarctica, must inspire further work and efforts of others Romanian researchers today. To my knowledge, Romanian researchers are currently considering ambitious Antarctic research activities in the fields of biology, hydrology, geology, astronomy and medicine. I do hope that the National Committee for Antarctic Research (CNCA) under the auspices of Romanian Academy will succeed to find the best solution for funding of future research work in Antarctica. I will do my best to support cooperation of Romania with Australian partners, in particular with the Australian Antarctic Division, based in Hobart (Tasmania) both for the continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding with Australia and for the resumption of Romanian scientific expeditions in Antarctica. Last but not least, I am convinced the joint efforts from Romanian governmental structures involved, in cooperation with the highly prestigious Romanian Academy, and possibly a public-private partnership, will support the continuation of Romanian scientific research at the Law-Racoviţă-Negoiţă, the first and only Romanian polar research base in Antarctica”. Ambassador Bărbulescu also said “a future Romanian research expedition in Antarctica will add new values to the fabulous heritage of Romanian scientists from Emil Racoviţă to Teodor Negoiţă and will sustain the happy coincidence of celebrating the International Day of Antarctica - Antarctica Day on December 1, when Romania is celebrating its National Day.”

Background:

Romania is one of the 50 states that have ratified the Antarctic Treaty and other related agreements, called the Antarctic Treaty System and regulating international relations in respect to Antarctica (defined as land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude). The Antarctic Treaty entered into force on June 23, 1961 and it was the first arms control agreement agreed during the Cold War. The Antarctic Treaty, originally signed by 12 countries, including Australia, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans any military activity. Since 2004 the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is located in Buenos Aires (Argentina). Australian Government body responsible for Antarctica is the Antarctic Division Australian, within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Further details at www.antarctica.gov.au. Romania ratified the Antarctic Treaty on September 15, 1971 and 2003 and the Protocol on Environmental Protection (the Madrid Protocol). Our country has organized scientific cooperation activities and expeditions to Antarctica in 1998, in collaboration with teams from China and the Russian Federation. From 15 June 2005, under a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding Romania - Australia, concluded for a period of 10 years, Romanian researchers gained access to the Law- Racoviţă scientific research basis (Prydz Bay, East Antarctica ), named in honor of the first biologist who has studied life in Antarctica, Romanian scientist and academician Professor Emil Racoviţă ( with the first scientific expedition to winter in Antarctica, called after the ship Belgica, during 1897-1899) and Philip Law, the first Australian researcher in the Larsemann Hills (in 1958). In accordance with the National Antarctic Research Program, part of Romania's Strategic Plan for Antarctic Sciences 2013 - 2020, Romania intends to continue cooperation in scientific research at the ASMA 6 - Antarctic Specially Managed Area No 6 - Antarctic territory under special administration, Romania participates to the Group Management, along with Australia, China, Russian Federation and India. CNCA represents Romania at the Antarctic Treaty System . Law- Racoviţă - Negoiţă Station consists of a built- laboratory, five satellite colony type igloo equipped with permanent functional VHF radio, powered by a solar panel; in general, the expeditions have their equipment and satellite phones. This base has no permanent staff but it is used during expeditions by Romanian and Australian teams during their stay in Antarctica, especially during the polar summer (from December to February). Law- Racoviţă-Negoiță Station is located in a rocky area located 3 km from Ingrid Christensen Coast. Nearby there are the Chinese Station Zhong Shan and the Russian Station Progress II. The shortest distance from Bucharest to the Law - Racoviţă - Negoiţă Station is 13,352 km. We attached photos from private archives of Dr. Florica Topârceanu, scientific secretary of the National Committee on Antarctic Research of the Romanian Academy.

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