Direccion Nacional Del Antartico (DNA)

Photo: Direccion Nacional Del Antartico

About Argentina’s National Antarctic Program

COMNAP Representative (MNAP): Patricia Ortuzar, National Antarctic Director
(DMNAP): Walter Mac Cormack, Head of the Argentine Antarctic Institute

The Dirección Nacional del Antártico (DNA) is the governing body of Argentina’s Antarctic activities.

Activities of Argentina in Antarctica began in the early nineteenth century continuing through the years until today. As early as 1903, the vessel Corvette Uruguay made the first rescue in Antarctic waters, coming to the aid of the Nordenskjöld scientific expedition. The year after this historic event, Argentina affirmed its presence on the white continent with the opening of the first year-round station, Orcadas Station, which remains active and marks the beginning of uninterrupted Argentinean work in the region.

Argentina was one of the active participants of the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958) through the Instituto Antártico Argentino (IAA). The country also very actively participated in the negotiation and subsequent signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959 being one of the twelve original signatories of the Treaty and holding Consultative State status.

Today, the Argentinean National Antarctic Program has six year-round Antarctic stations – Orcadas, Belgrano II, San Martin, Carlini, Esperanza and Marambio; seven summer stations – Melchior, Brown, Matienzo, Camera, Decepción, Primavera and Petrel: and refuges, ships, aircraft and the ability to deploy and operate field camps in Antarctica in support of its scientific program, referred to in the Annual Plan Antarctic.

The primary objective of the Argentinean National Antarctic Program is scientific research, always supporting the principles and purposes of the Antarctic Treaty and the legal and political system it is part of.

Belgrano Base (left) and Carlini Base (right, formerly known as Jubany).

About the Organisational Structure of the Argentinean National Antarctic Program

The Instituto Antártico Argentino (IAA) is the entity through which Argentina develops its scientific activities in Antarctica. It was created in 1951 and represents the first global agency dedicated exclusively to Antarctic research. The IAA, under DNA, is responsible for centralizing the planning, coordination and control of Argentinean scientific activities in Antarctica. Echoing the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty, numerous cooperation agreements aimed at promoting international Antarctic science have been created. Dallmann Laboratory is an example that illustrates the importance that international cooperation presents under the Argentinean National Antarctic Program. The laboratory has been located in Carlini Base since 1994 as a result of a scientific cooperation agreement between Argentina and Germany.

The DNA was created in 1970 and currently sits under the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto. Its offices are located in the city of Buenos Aires and it has a staff of approximately 200 people including scientists, technicians and administrative staff.

DNA’s main function is to schedule, plan, coordinate, direct, control and disseminate Argentina Antarctic activities, in order to achieve compliance with the objectives, policies and priorities of the National Antarctic Policy.

The Argentinean Science Program

Currently the research guidelines prioritized by the IAA are derived from the Science Strategy 2011–2021 and include the study of the phenomena of global climate change, the knowledge and conservation of Antarctic natural resources and associated areas, the development of alternative energies and the history of Argentine activities in Antarctica, among others.

Within these research priority guidelines the projects focus on various subject areas such as: structure and functioning of Antarctic ecosystems, past and present; monitoring of Antarctic natural systems (environmental monitoring, biological monitoring and cartographic monitoring); physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, oceans and solid earth in Antarctica and adjacent regions; mineral resources; Antarctic living resources (including bioprospecting); Climate Change – Global Change (past, present and future projections); history of Argentine activities in the Antarctica; human adaptations to high latitudes; the impact of human activities on the Antarctic ecosystems (including bioremediation and tourism) and geological evolution of the southern sector of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Our Contact Details

Physical Address/Postal Address
Balcarce 290 3th floor
C1064AAF Buenos Aires

Telephone: +54 11 4331 2900

Fax: +54 11 4331 2903