The whole Antarctic continent has a high level of protection under the Madrid Protocol and other Antarctic Treaty agreements. In some areas, access is tightly restricted to protect outstanding environmental, scientific or cultural values.

Except for small scale recreational field trips within the scope of normal duties, activities of all field parties are subject to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).

Entry without a permit is prohibited to protected areas in the AAT. More information on the protected areas and can be found on the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat website.