Italy and Antarctica
The Directorate General for Asia, Oceania, the Pacific and Antarctica has been closely monitoring Antarctic issues. Following the workshop it organised on Antarctica at ISIAO last year, and in light of the results of scientific conferences held in the meantime, a follow-up workshop was held on 29 March 2007 at the University of Siena, whose Dean, Prof. Focardi, is a noted expert in Antarctic matters particularly regarding the environmental issues that have, in that context as well, recently gained considerable importance in the mind of the public. Given the topic’s growing urgency various speakers from scientific, legal and environmental spheres were invited to participate, along with representatives of the Ministries of the Environment and Research, as well as the MFA. The opening address was given by Secretary of State Sen. Vernetti, who is planning a mission in 2008 to New Zealand, at which time he intends to visit Italy’s Marco Zucchelli scientific base in Terra Nova Bay, with a possible extension to the nearby American and New Zealand bases as well as the Italo-French Concordia base.