Argentina announces the construction of labs in Antarctica to reaffirm science and sovereignty
Argentina will create “Antarctic Multidisciplinary Laboratories” to further promote research in the country’s bases in the white continent, in the framework of the program “Building Science”. The program is sponsored by the ministries of Foreign Affairs; Science, Technology and Innovation, and Defense, and has specific funds earmarked.
“When the re-launching of the icebreaker Irizar and its new equipments, we said that knowledge and science are sovereignty, particularly when applied to Antarctica and the South Atlantic. In Argentina we have a development model clearly linked to knowledge and the development of our scientific and technological capacities, based on our scientists and technology experts”, said foreign minister Santiago Cafiero at the launch of the program.
“From the ministry and the Argentine Antarctic Institute we are well aware of what we are capable of and above all the confidence that this is the right path for those investments. In foreign policy we are reaffirming our commitment to science and technology in the zone, which are definitively tools of prestige and sovereignty”, added the foreign minister.
The three labs are to be constructed in Orcadas, Esperanza and San Martin bases and the refuges Vega and Cerro Nevado, close to the Marambio base.
Defense minister Jorge Taiana said that the three labs, “a great effort at this moment from the government, indicate clearly we want to strengthen our vision towards Patagonia, the South Atlantic and our Islands, our sea and Antarctica”.
Taiana also mentioned works in the recovery of the Petrel Base and underlined that the labs are part of that same commitment shared with the Argentine Antarctic Institute, the Antarctic Joint Command and the ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, as we all did previously with the icebreaker Irizar“.
Minister Daniel Filmus said that before becoming Science minister he was head of the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic special Desk and the policy is the same, ”strengthen science and technology, and the sovereignty of the South Atlantic“.
He added that Argentina has the longest tradition in Antarctica and more bases but lacks the equipment and the necessary space for a complete science development, but “with the new labs in our standing bases we will be able to research the whole year; research tasks must be permanent.
The task of the ministry is to coordinate all the efforts, which means “sovereignty is a priority, Antarctica is a priority, our presence in the South Atlantic is a priority,” concluded minister Filmus.