Greenpeace holds a historic performance with pianist Ludovico Einaudi on the Arctic Ocean

When you see the Arctic with your own eyes the sheer beauty of it is overwhelming. You are overcome by many sensations and emotions. The cold, the silence, the cracking sound of the ice. The Arctic is pristine, with life popping out to welcome you when you least expect it. It is undoubtedly unique.

Two weeks ago the Arctic Sunrise departed from the Netherlands carrying a very special load. With her, the voices of 8 million people all over the world who have joined the movement to save the Arctic and their many different reasons why it should be protected. Whether it be because of its biodiversity, because of its role in regulating the climate, because of the future of the new generations or simply because it is a natural treasure worth protecting from corporate greed.

In Svalbard (Norway), Europe's door to the Arctic, we welcomed aboard a very special guest: Ludovico Einaudi, renowned pianist and composer. With him a grand piano, and the most challenging performance he has ever been proposed: to play in the Arctic surrounded by ice.

Ludovico Einaudi has translated these voices into music, 'Elegy for the Arctic', a special piece composed just for them. All of us who had the privilege to witness such a unique scene, to hear his music echoed in the glacier, we are sure it is an image that will forever remain in our minds.  

The timing of such a performance is not by chance. Today, the meeting of the OSPAR Commission starts in Tenerife (Spain) far away from these cold waters. However, despite the distance, the delegates attending this meeting have the opportunity to protect part of the Arctic Ocean. On the table, a proposal to create a protected area, the size of the UK, which would mean that nearly 10% of the high seas of the Arctic Ocean would be protected. And it is urgent, the Arctic Ocean is the least protected ocean in the world, its high seas currently lacking any protection. But as the ice rapidly decreases, due to rising temperatures, this unique area is losing its icy shield and is open to reckless exploitation

OSPAR Commission has the mandate to protect the marine environment of the northeast Atlantic, including part of the Arctic ocean. This week, the voices of 8 million people and Ludovico's music will join their meeting, urging OSPAR to protect the Arctic.

However, some other voices are also present. Three countries, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, who are listening to the industry and corporate interests are trying their best not to make this happen.

These countries are not like any countries. They are all arctic states and regulate huge areas of the Arctic. Even though they do not govern over the Arctic high seas, which fall north above their national waters, their opinion is weighted heavily and their influence is great. But unfortunately for the Arctic, with its pristine nature and as a regulator for our climate, their agenda is different. They use every mean they have to block environmental protection.

Its said that you worship what you don't have. These countries have it. They live with the Arctic at their doorstep every day, its in their history books and they learn about their great Arctic explorers in school. Still they have chosen a different path. With them come destructive trawlers and risky oil drilling.

We must show them that what they have is unique, that the Arctic is worth protecting and not worth the risk for shortsided profit.

And until they change their view their voices should not be heard, not over Ludovico's music, not over the piano on the glacier, not over 8 million voices...