Marine Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean – critical in the face of climate and biodiversity crises

Shelf-Iceberg. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Read the IUCN-message of Claire Christian, the Executive Director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (and compare also with our recent article of Ricardo Roura), which starts as follows:

In recent months, the global 30×30 campaign to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 has gained tremendous support, with a number of countries pledging to fulfill this goal. What hasn’t been clear, however, is whether these countries are fully prepared to ensure the target is met in ocean areas beyond national jurisdictions, also known as the high seas. Negotiations for a high seas conservation treaty are still underway at the United Nations, and have been delayed by the pandemic. However, due to the unique governance structure of the Southern Ocean that surrounds the Antarctic continent, there are already ambitious proposals for significant high seas marine protected areas (MPAs). If adopted, these MPAs would collectively protect almost 4 million square kilometers of ocean, including habitat for large numbers of penguins, whales, seals and other unique Antarctic species. This would be the largest act of ocean protection in history. – Read more here.

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