Protecting the Antarctic environment is the specific business of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP), established by Article 11 of the Madrid Protocol and meeting first in 1998. The CEP advises the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) about matters concerning the Protocol’s development and implementation. It is composed of representatives of the Parties which are signatories to the Protocol and includes observers from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and other scientific, technical and environmental organisations.
The agenda for annual CEP meetings, generally in the first week of an ATCM, is based on the Protocol structure, with proceedings interpreted in the four Treaty languages (English, Spanish, Russian and French). A significant amount of its specific-issue work is undertaken between meetings by email or at annual meeting workshops.