Setting Sail to Protect the Antarctic
by Guest Blogger
January 26, 2018
As I write this the Arctic Sunrise, one of Greenpeace’s ships, is sailing south. For the next three months its crew will be working alongside a team of campaigners, photographers, film-makers, scientists and journalists from across the globe to build the case for the world’s largest protected area: an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.
© Greenpeace / Jiri Rezac
Time is ticking to protect the Antarctic
I think it’s fair to say most of us work well to a deadline. Something about having a due date helps focus the mind and gets the creative juices going. Well, we have a new deadline: October 2018.
In just over nine months’ time, the Antarctic Ocean Commission meets to discuss whether or not to make history and create the world’s largest protected area. We have until then to convince the members of this Commission to put aside their differences and create a safe haven for emperor penguins, blue whales, colossal squid and many other Antarctic animals.
We have nine months to show leaders across the world how important it is to protect the ocean at a larger scale than ever before – for the wildlife that calls it home, for the sake of preventing the worst impacts of climate change and for the livelihoods of more than half of the planet, who depend on the ocean for their food.
Help make history
It might be just a small team heading south, but you can make it one of millions. You can help amplify our voice and persuade politicians across the globe to work together for the oceans.
As we work with scientists to discover new habitats on the Antarctic seabed, as we bear witness to the fishing boats competing against penguins and whales to find the krill they feed on — it is your support that is going to be what makes politicians listen.
As the Arctic Sunrise sets sail today, I’ll be the first to admit it is a little daunting – not just the prospect of three months sailing in one of the wildest parts of the planet, but also the challenge of getting so many governments to agree with each other!
We’re aiming high because we have to — from the smallest creatures on earth to the largest, we need healthy oceans for the future of life on earth. Right now we have the opportunity to protect an area of the Antarctic Ocean that is six times the size of Italy. We need to do everything we can to seize it.
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Author: Will McCallum is an Oceans Campaigner with Greenpeace UK