South Africa is one of the founding members of the Antarctic Treaty, who together with 11 other countries signed the Treaty in 1959. All signatories of the Treaty agree that the Antarctic Continent will be used for peaceful and scientific purposes only. Subsequently, South Africa became a party to various other conventions, treaties and agreements pertaining to Antarctica. It is the only African country with a presence in Antarctica, as well as being a member country of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).
SCAR’s new Strategic Plan 2011-2016 “Antarctic Science and Policy Advice in a Changing World” is now available via the following link: www.scar.org/strategicplan2011/
South Africa also maintains bases at Marion and Gough Islands, which are administered by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
The National Research Foundation is currently the agency responsible for the scientific management of the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
The DST vision is to create a demographically balanced Antarctic research programme that strives for internationally competitive research, promotes interdisciplinarity and creates links with other African countries.
The mission of the programme in alignment with the R&D strategy (2002) is the establishment of a national research programme that will produce maximum human capital, innovation and economic growth, while increasing its international profile and influence public visibility.
Strategic considerations which underpin the vision and mission include the following:
- Identifying and exploiting comparative advantage in both commercial and research opportunities that involve industry.
- The participation of a critical mass of scientists in the programme, both in terms of demographic diversity and from scientific disciplines previously not represented or active in Antarctica related research.
The SANAP call for funding in 2012 and its associated processes has concluded. The list of successful grant awardees and their projects is listed here for funding from 2012 - 2014:
The programme wishes all grantholders the very best with their research endeavours.
Please note: SANAP will not be supporting development grant applications in the 2012/13 financial year.
The SANAP database is accessed via the following link (copy and paste into your browser): http://stardata.nrf.ac.za/starweb/SANAP/servlet.starweb?path=SANAP/sanap.web&id=SANAP&pass