Scientists and government authorities asked for more international cooperation to preserve Antarctica while attending Latin America's most important diplomatic meeting on the white continent, held this week in Buenos Aires, an Argentine official said Saturday.

Participants in the 15th Meeting of National Administrators of Antarctic Programs, or Rapal, agreed on joint action to deal with the continent's great challenges including the fight against climate change, Mariano Memolli, head of the National Argentine Antarctica Authority and host of the meeting, told Efe.

"The highest priority projects are those that tend to boost regional cooperation," Memolli said, noting how important it is that "there have now been 25 years of Latin American cooperation on Antarctica."

For four days, Rapal brought together 70 scientists, experts and government officials from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador and Peru, with Venezuela and Colombia as observer nations.

In the conclusions of the talks, countries were recommended to continue increasing the use of alternative sources of energy in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels, improve the management of Antarctic residuals and better control non-native species of fauna in order to help preserve the Antarctic ecosystem.

"The effects of global climate change impact Antarctica in a very serious way," Memolli said.

The Argentine official said that over the coming years they will continue their lines of research into the impact of this phenomenon on the remaining glacier masses, which have shrunk in recent years, and on the fragile land and maritime ecosystems in the area.

Memolli noted that "there are no political differences among the various countries" on climate change, since all share the same concern. EFE