World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Russia, Ukraine again block Southern Ocean protection

Russia, Ukraine again block global efforts for Southern Ocean Marine Protection – Antarctic Ocean Alliance

HOBART, 1 November 2013 – The partners of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) today said that theCommission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) missed an historic opportunity due to blocking by Russia and the Ukraine again to protect key Antarctic marine habitats at its annual meeting in Hobart calling into question its ability to deliver on its conservation commitments.

The 24 nations and the EU that make up CCAMLR had two proposals for the Ross Sea and East Antarctic coastal region on the table but, like the body’s special meeting in Germany in July, Russia and Ukraine actively blocked the two proposals, with China withdrawing support for the East Antarctic proposal.

“Sadly, although most CCAMLR Members were ready to move forward to designate significant marine protection here, Russia and the Ukraine once again blocked all efforts to negotiate an outcome,” said Jim Barnes, Executive Director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC). “We applaud the hard work of the United States, New Zealand, Australia, the European Union and France over the last three years to promote solid Antarctic marine protected proposals in Antarctica.”

“The question of whether CCAMLR can deliver on its conservation mandate is in very serious doubt after another disappointing failure at this year’s meeting,” said Steve Campbell, AOA Campaign Director. “CCAMLR does not meet again for another year, and each meeting without designating marine protection diminishes hopes that CCAMLR can meet its important commitments.”

"What we have witnessed over the last few years is the steady erosion of the spirit and mandate of CCAMLR to conserve our last intact ocean ecosystem remaining on earth,” said Farah Obaidullah, Greenpeace International Oceans Campaigner. “This year's failure denigrates the reputation of CCAMLR and is symptomatic of a dangerous global trend where corporate and political interests override any genuine efforts to protect the oceans for the sake of future generations."

"Many of the Asian countries with fishing interests in the Southern Ocean have been supportive of establishing MPAs in Antarctica waters so it is a great disappointment that we are coming away from CCAMLR again with no agreement,” said Yuri Onodera of Friends of the Earth Japan.
“All nations need to realise the critical importance of large-scale ocean protection if we are to ensure healthy oceans for our collective future."

"This is a dark day not just for the Antarctic, but for the world's oceans,” said Andrea Kavanagh, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Southern Ocean sanctuaries project. “This was the international community’s third attempt to protect some of the most pristine ocean areas on Earth, but self interest got in the way once again. The scientific basis to create these reserves is overwhelming. The stubborn self interest of a few should not be allowed to deny the will of the majority of countries around the world.”

The two marine protection area (MPA) proposals that CCAMLR failed to pass were a US and New Zealand proposal for a Ross Sea MPA of 1.32 million km2 with a 1.25 million km2 area no-take zone, and a proposal from Australia, France and the EU for an East Antarctic MPA network of 1.6 million km2 in which future fishing activities would have to be approved by consensus.

The Southern Ocean is home to more than 10,000 unique species including most of the world’s penguins, whales, seabirds, colossal squid and the remarkable Antarctic toothfish – the main target of fishing companies in the region. The Southern Ocean is a crucial area for scientific research, both for studying how intact marine ecosystems function and for determining the impacts of global climate change.

More than 1.3 million people around the world have joined the global call for large-scale marine protection in Antarctica over the last three years and thousands have taken action through on line petitions, social media and email’s to key world leaders to call for protection.

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance partners will continue to press the countries failing to support Southern Ocean marine protected areas and will attend the next CCAMLR meeting in Hobart in 2014 to ensure that CCAMLR delivers on its conservation commitments. The AOA has identified around 40% of the Southern Ocean that warrants protection.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news