Treaties and laws established for the protection of the Antarctic environment are meant to provide the legal framework for the freedom of scientific research, information exchange, and international cooperation.
The rules and prohibitions provide protection for native birds, mammals, and plants, set up a system of protected areas, ensure research activities are conducted with the objectives of conservation and rational use, and govern the following: taking of fauna and flora, entry into protected areas, introduction of nonnative species, material management and waste disposal, and use of designated pollutants.
For specific information on how the treaties and laws were established, see the National Science Foundation U.S. Antarctic Program Environmental Stewardship web page.
Annex I (Environmental Impact Assessment)
Handbook of the Antarctic Treaty System—U.S. Department of State