Helping to protect the icy heartbeat of our planet
Nathalie Rey is the programme director of Ocean Unite and coordinator of Antarctica2020 and below she shares why we should all come together to protect Antarctica’s Southern Ocean this World Ocean Day.
The Southern Ocean is coldest, windiest, and remotest place on the planet – so far away from most of our daily lives, yet so key to our survival. From the air we breathe, to the food we eat, Antarctica and the ocean that surrounds it have a large hand in ensuring our planet functions and is liveable.
The devastating human impact of our carbon-crazed existence is undeniable, with parts of Antarctica being one of the fastest warming places on the planet. These warming temperatures, together with continued fishing activities, threaten its amazing wildlife, including penguins, seals and whales, all of which are struggling to adapt to the rapid changes to their home.
We must act now to protect it and we need your help.
The #CallonCCAMLR campaign aims to focus eyes on the little-known, but hugely important, international body that is tasked with protecting Antarctica’s Southern Ocean – the Commission for the Conservation on Antarctic Marine Living Resources. That’s quite a mouthful so we call it CCAMLR for short. So far progress has been agonizingly slow, with governments stalling conservation decisions for years, unable to come to unanimous agreement on further protection.
We don't have time to waste and so are mobilising high-level political leadership in the run up to the CCAMLR annual meeting in October, when member states have the historic chance to protect nearly 4 million km2 of the Southern Ocean through the creation of three new large-scale marine protected areas in the East Antarctic, Weddell Sea and Antarctic Peninsula.
In April, a viral outreach campaign was launched with the help of artists, influencers, celebrities and citizens – to help make CCAMLR an environmental buzzword for 2021. And we need your help too to spread the word even further and wider on the need to protect Antarctica’s ocean.
This World Ocean Day help protect the fragile icy heartbeat of our planet and its unique wildlife. Share the video online and sign the global petition to #CallonCCAMLR and its leaders to vote YES to securing the greatest act of ocean protection in history.
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Ocean Unite was set up in 2015 by Virgin Unite and a group of key partners, united in commitment to ocean conservation. Ocean Unite is now an independent 501c3 organisation. Through their Ocean Unite Network of global influencers, their aim is to amplify crucial Ocean messages to decision-makers in support of highly protecting at least 30% of the ocean by 2030 and building ocean resilience.