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Monaco Prince Backs Call For Antarctic Marine Protected Area

Prince Albert of Monaco Backs Call For Marine Protected Areas In Antarctica  

Antarctic Ocean Alliance Delegation In Brussels In Lead Up to Landmark Ocean Conservation Decision

Brussels 22.05.13: Prince Albert of Monaco addressed the opening of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ACTM) this morning, calling for large-scale marine protected areas to be established in the Ross Sea and East Antarctica in the Southern Ocean, and for countries to work collaboratively together.
Antarctica is widely considered as the last wilderness on earth and 2013 promises to be a defining year for the waters surrounding Antarctica, also known as the Southern Ocean.  Antarctica’s Southern Ocean constitutes approximately 10% of the world’s seas.  To date, less than 2% of the world’s oceans are protected as marine protected areas while overfishing, climate change and other environmental damage has put many ocean environments at risk.  
Steve Campbell, the Campaign Director of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance said "We welcome the Prince’s intervention today (22.05.13), and hope that the countries which will make this decision at the upcoming meeting in Bremerhaven will heed his words.”
“We have little time to protect key ecosystems in the Southern Ocean and yet the international community has a record of collaboration in Antarctica that is second to none. The Prince’s continued advocacy on this issue will be critical," continued Campbell.
From May 20th – 29th 2013, Belgium is hosting the 36th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM XXXVI) in the Egmont Palace Conference Centre, as well as the 16th meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP XVI). 
In July 2013, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) delegates  are set to meet in Bremerhaven, Germany, to consider the establishment of marine protected areas  for East Antarctica (proposed by Australia, the EU and France), and the Ross Sea (proposed by New Zealand and the United States).  
The designation of these proposals would constitute the two largest marine protected areas on earth.  
All 25 CCAMLR members – (including Belgium, EU, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK) had previously committed to establishing a representative network of MPAs in the Southern Ocean, however, at a meeting last November in Hobart, all parties were unable to reach a consensus on the  two marine protected areas proposed.  Consequently a decision on these historic proposals has been deferred to the extraordinary meeting in Bremerhaven, set to take place between 11th and 16th  of July. 
With Germany as host of this year’s Bremerhaven meeting, six leading German marine and wildlife protection groups which are part of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance coalition are calling on Germany to take a leading role in shepherding through the East Antarctica and Ross Sea proposals.
With the extraordinary meeting in Bremerhaven looming, cooperation among Antarctic Treaty Parties is central to assuring progress towards the establishment of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean.

© Scoop Media

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