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Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents bilingual encyclopedia and illustrated book on Antarctica to promote scientific dissemination of the southern continent

Tuesday, June 20th 2023

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the English version of two Antarctic texts, the "Visual Encyclopedia of Antarctica" and "Chilean Antarctic Science in Figures", in a ceremony headed by acting Foreign Affairs Minister Gloria de la Fuente.

The event was attended by the Undersecretary of Science, Technology and Innovation, Carolina Gainza; the Director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute, Dr. Marcelo Leppe, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps in Chile.

The books were developed by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) with the support of the Division of Cultures, Arts, Heritage and Public Diplomacy (DIRAC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of Chile's concern for the scientific dissemination of the Antarctic continent, which is of great relevance for the study of climate change.

The Minister (s) emphasized that "for our country, Antarctica is a key and irreplaceable part of the Turquoise Foreign Policy promoted by this Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since it exemplifies like few other places in the world, the need to protect the waters and life of the Southern Ocean and the incredible beauty and uniqueness of the polar environment".

In this sense, he assured that "the Government of Chile is developing several projects to consolidate its Antarctic vocation and enhance the range of opportunities and services available to the more than twenty national Antarctic programs that have chosen us as a gateway to the white continent".

"Visual Encyclopedia of Antarctica" includes contents on the Antarctic forest and aquariums, the paleontological advances of Cerro Guido, the new fossils found in Patagonia such as Magallanodon and Orretherium, as well as information on the future International Antarctic Center (CAI), which will be dedicated to science and international cooperation, positioning our country as a pole of scientific development in this area. Chilean Antarctic Science in Figures" is a bilingual Spanish-English edition that provides unpublished data on this southern region in an illustrated manner.

"Since the very creation of INACH, 59 years ago, one of its missions has been the dissemination of Antarctic knowledge because there was already an awareness that it was important to share with the public the advances that science was achieving in a region as unknown as it is fascinating. These books are completely in line with this objective and that is why we have made sure that they reach the school system and those areas where our country seeks to promote international collaboration on polar issues", said the Director of INACH, Dr. Marcelo Leppe. 

DIRAC's Director, Ambassador Carola Muñoz, said that this publication highlights the great challenges that this southern territory faces today, which have inspired not only great literary fiction, but also the creation of works in the most diverse disciplines by local artists, as well as those from different parts of the world.

"It is of great relevance to have materialized this collaboration project with INACH, which we hope will be the first of many, and to disseminate, particularly among the new generations, this territory, which was defined by Gabriela Mistral as this archangelic part of the world," he said. 

Both publications will be distributed to Chilean embassies, especially those in countries with Antarctic activity. Also, due to their great potential for use by the school system, the Chilean Antarctic Institute is initiating a pilot plan in the region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica to introduce Antarctic content into the school curriculum, along with ensuring the distribution of these and other books in educational libraries.

It should be pointed out that the texts are available in the publications section of the Chilean Antarctic Institute.