Pew welcomes US decision to co-lead Southern Ocean marine protected areas
These two MPA designations by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) would also bring the world nearly 1% closer to achieving the 30% protection target of the world. world ocean, requested in 2016 by the International Union for Conservation. of nature.
Research shows that MPAs can help vulnerable marine ecosystems build their resilience to climate change by removing additional stresses such as fishing and that MPA networks also help species adapt to climate change by creating pathways protected for migrations and changes of range.
In 2009, CCAMLR became the first international body to commit to creating an ecologically representative network of MPAs, following the recommendations of the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. Two years later, its member governments have agreed on a framework for the creation of such a network and identified nine regions for future MPAs. Since 2011, CCAMLR has designated two MPAs in the waters of the Southern Ocean: the Ross Sea and South Orkney Islands.
Following today’s meeting, 15 countries and the EU issued a joint statement declaring that they will work on the designation of Southern Ocean MPAs as soon as possible and calling on “all members of the CCAMLR to act as soon as possible to conserve Southern Ocean MPAs – unique biodiversity and ecosystems for present and future generations. “
Andrea Kavanagh, director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean work for The Pew Charitable Trusts, issued the following statement:
“The Southern Ocean is one of the last great wilderness areas on the planet. And in a year we mark the 60e anniversary of the entry into force of the Antarctic Treaty, two years after its signature in 1959, the fate of the Southern Ocean continues to affect us all. Its deep cold currents not only carry nutrients to feed many of the world’s fisheries, but they also regulate the distribution of heat around the world. And its waters store carbon in ways we’re only just beginning to understand.
“Protecting the Southern Ocean is the kind of nature-based solution needed to make marine ecosystems more resilient in tackling global climate change. We welcome the news that the United States is joining other countries leading the charge in the designation of two new MPAs in the Southern Ocean. “
Barb cvrkel, 202-510-5670, [email protected]
SOURCE Pew Charitable Trusts