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At a time of great global uncertainty, the agreement to protect Antarctica’s oceans is a glimmer of hope

One year from now on December 1st 2017, the Ross Sea, off the coast of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean, will be officially protected in the world’s first large-scale marine protected area in international waters. When the world seems increasingly divided and polarised, it is inspiring that major geopolitical players like the United States, Russia, China, the EU and twenty-one other countries joined together to agree by consensus to protect this special place.

Once again, Antarctica has proven to be the one place on Planet Earth that we can agree on. The Antarctic Treaty was negotiated during the height of the Cold War and is now considered to be one of the most successful examples of diplomacy of the modern era. Today, at a time when the world needs urgent action to protect the environmental resources we all depend, Antarctica is a glimmer of hope, lighting the path required for protection of the ocean and planet.

The decision, made last month at the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources, CCAMLR, shows what we can achieve when countries unite.

What’s next for Antarctica’s Southern Ocean?

The protection of Antarctica’s Ross Sea is just the first step of the marathon campaign that lays ahead of us.

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An insider’s analysis: How 24 countries and the EU finally agreed to protect the Ross Sea

By Lyn Goldsworthy

I went into the 2016 meeting of CCAMLR[1] without any expectations of achieving very much, let alone a marine protected area designation. The past three meetings had not been good, and there had been little indication prior to the meeting of movement from the one remaining antagonist to marine protected areas: Russia.…

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Thank you

BIG HIGH FIVE to all of you who helped secure protection of Antarctica’s Ross Sea. There have been so many people and organisations involved over the last six years, and we would like to say thank you.

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Major Victory for Protection of the Southern Ocean

Friday 28 October, Hobart, Australia: The Antarctic Ocean Alliance applauds the momentous agreement by Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to safeguard 1.55 million km2 of the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean.

“CCAMLR made history today by declaring the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea, protecting penguins, seals, whales and countless other creatures,” said Andrea Kavanagh, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts Antarctic and Southern Ocean work.…

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How fisheries and marine protection can coexist in the Southern Ocean

Fishing and marine protection don’t seem like they should get along, but our latest report demonstrates that the ocean is big enough for the both of them. Three proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean are on the table as CCAMLR delegates meet in Hobart this week. In previous years, opponents have voiced concerns that these MPAs would impact fishing in the area, but our research shows that catches can continue at sustainable rates while protecting Antarctica’s rich and wild biodiversity.…

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PRESS RELEASE: Global Momentum to Protect the Antarctic Ocean Builds as International Talks Begin

Hobart, Australia, Monday October 17, 2016,: The Antarctic Ocean Alliance is calling on nations to secure the future of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, at the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) currently meeting in Hobart, Australia.

This week, representatives from 25 governments are gathering in Hobart to address three proposed marine protected areas, amounting to more than five million square kilometers of Antarctic waters.…

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24 countries, dozens of organisations, and 80,000 supporters (including you!)

If the Antarctic Ocean Alliance was one animal it would be an Arctic tern.

This incredible little bird recently made the longest-ever recorded migration. It flew from the Arctic, via Africa to Antarctica’s Weddell Sea and then all the way back again. In just under a year, it clocked up a whopping 100,000 kilometres – more than twice the circumference of the planet.…

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The World’s Last Great Wilderness

Exactly 25 years ago on October 4, 1991, countries signed the Madrid Protocol to protect Antarctica’s environment.

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We are close

Mike Walker, Project Director, Antarctic Ocean Alliance

Just a few weeks away from the annual meeting in Hobart of the the Commission for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the signs of getting a result are looking positive. We could be on the verge of a win for the Southern Ocean.…

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Inside meeting reveals Russia’s new commitment to the environment

Blue Iceberg

Mike Walker, Antarctic Ocean Alliance, Project Director 

Earlier in September, UNEP Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, met with Sergei Ivanov, President’s Putin special representative on the environment and ecology. It was a warm and constructive meeting during which they discussed the exciting plans and opportunities for Russia’s Year of Ecology, 2017. …

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