Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


AOA calls on US and NZ to stand firm on Ross Sea protection

AOA calls on US and NZ to stand firm on Antarctic Ross Sea protection

WELLINGTON, 5 September 2013 –The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) called on the United States and New Zealand, proponents of a large--scale marine protected area (MPA) proposal for Antarctica’s Ross Sea, to stand strong in the face of opposition to protect this irreplaceable marine environment.

A joint US--NZ proposal to designate a Ross Sea MPA of 2.3 million square kilometres, including a "fully protected" area of 1.6 million square kilometres, was put forward last year but failed to gain support at a meeting of the 25 member states of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Bremerhaven, Germany in July.

According to a New Zealand media report (see below), diplomatic insiders fear a revised US--NZ plan would make radical cuts to the proposed MPA.

Antarctic waters make up about 10 percent of the world's seas and are home to almost 10,000 species, including penguins, whales and seals.

The Southern Ocean contains some of the most intact marine ecosystems left on Earth, and its nutrients are transported around the globe by deep ocean currents to sustain the majority of the world’s marine life.

It also provides scientists with a living laboratory to determine the impacts of global climate change.

CCAMLR is mandated to work for conservation and to act in a precautionary way.

"The 30 organisations that make the Antarctic Ocean Alliance would be deeply concerned that the US and New Zealand could be giving away too much, leaving us with a protected area that reduces protection for the Ross Sea, ” said the AOA’s Steve Campbell.

“That would mean missing the opportunity to protect some of the most critical and unique marine ecosystem while they are still intact.” “For the Ross Sea, giving up so much before securing the support of the countries that have opposed its protection would be a great strategic mistake that could mean we end up protecting very little,” said Jim Barnes, Executive Director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC).

“It would be a missed opportunity to retreat from US Secretary of State John Kerry’s commitment earlier this year to the Ross Sea,” said Andrea Kavanagh, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Southern Ocean sanctuaries project.

“We ask that US and New Zealand officials hold the line.

The Ross Sea is one of the most beautiful and pristine areas left on Earth and we are urging governments to protect it.” News reports suggest that a compromise to win support for a greatly reduced MPA proposal at the next meeting of CCAMLR in October might mean that large areas of the north, including key spawning areas and sea mounts, are stripped out of the proposed MPA.

Scientists believe these areas are important as the breeding ground for Antarctic toothfish and that the seamounts provide crucial habitat to a diverse range of Southern Ocean species.

The AOA has identified over 40 percent of the Southern Ocean in 19 habitats that warrant protection in a network of large--scale MPAs and no--take marine reserves based on combining existing marine protected areas, areas identified within previous conservation and planning analyses and including additional key environmental habitats.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: It is easy to know what we don’t want to commemorate on Anzac Day this year...

In fact, is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli?

Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915.

(Most of the New Zealand survivors were transferred to the trenches in France, and eventually to the battle of the Somme in 1916.) More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB's China Shopping: Key Damages China Relationship

Evidence that the Key Government recklessly approved a GCSB spying operation to intercept Chinese diplomatic communications between offices in Auckland will pointlessly damage our relationship with China, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable. So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news