Founded in 1978, ASOC is the only non-governmental organization working full time to preserve the Antarctic continent and its surrounding Southern Ocean. A coalition of over 30 NGOs interested in Antarctic environmental protection, ASOC represents the environmental community at Antarctic governance meetings and works to promote important Antarctic conservation goals. Though Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are far away, we believe that the continent and its surrounding ocean are the natural heritage of all humankind and seek to ensure that Antarctic ecosystems - both terrestrial and marine - remain protected and intact.
Our work takes three main forms: participating in the international treaties that govern Antarctica, advocating to achieve specific conservation goals, and raising awareness among the broader public about key terrestrial and marine environmental issues. ASOC has successfully led efforts to promote conservation of biodiversity in Antarctica and ensure adherence to environmental standards in the face of exploitation pressures from fishing, mining and tourism companies. As an official observer to the Antarctic Treaty System, we closely monitor the activities of nations with a presence in the Antarctic.
ASOC monitors all issues that impact the Antarctic, including climate change, tourism, fisheries management, biological prospecting and pirate fishing. Present campaigns include negotiation of a legally-binding Polar Code regulating all vessels operating in the Antarctic; establishing a representative network of marine reserves by 2012, including Marine Protected Area status for the Ross Sea; managing Southern Ocean Fisheries sustainably, including krill - the base of the Antarctic food web; regulating Antarctic tourism and biological prospecting; strengthening the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary; and monitoring implementation of the Environment Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty.
ASOC employs campaigners all over the world who are experts on Antarctic environmental issues and who work closely with the countries who have a major presence in the Antarctic. ASOC also raises public awareness through this website, our blog, The Antarctica Blog, media releases and campaign advocacy.
Antarctica is the world's most extreme continent - the coldest, driest, and windiest - yet is the home or feeding grounds for millions of penguins, whales, and seals. Its breathtaking scenery often renders visitors speechless. It is the "last continent," that is, the only remaining continent without a significant human presence or widespread impact on the environment. We urge you to learn more about this unique place and how you can help us ensure that the Antarctic and its magnificent species receive the highest level of environmental protection possible.
Our most recent annual report and key organizational documents can be found below. Additional governance documents are found here.
ASOC appreciates the support of the Bear Gulch Fund, Kaplan Fund, Marisla Foundation, Munson Foundation, Oceans Five, Packard Foundation, Peter Scott Trust, Pew Charitable Trusts, Prince Albert II Foundation, and the Tinker Foundation. ASOC also is supported by its member organisations, which pay dues, including: Australian Conservation Foundation, Centro de Conservacion Cetacea-Chile, Cetacean Society International, ECO-NZ, Forest and Bird-NZ, Friends of the Earth Australia, Friends of the Earth Japan, Friends of the Earth International, Friends of the Earth US, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Netherlands, Humane Society International, Humane Society of the US, International Cryosphere Initiative, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Korean Federation of Environmental Movements, Korean Green Fund, Marine Conservation Institute, Pew Charitable Trusts, Sierra Club, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and WWF.
Legal disclaimer: Any use of geographical names on this site does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of ASOC concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.