Russia and China voted against approving 3 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on the East Coast of Antarctica this past week thwarting another attempt to implement more MPAs in the region. 5 Years ago, the same 26 member committee that manages Antarctica,...
Russia and China voted against approving 3 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on the East Coast of Antarctica this past week thwarting another attempt to implement more MPAs in the region. 5 Years ago, the same 26 member committee that manages Antarctica, which includes Russia, China, the US, and others, approved the largest MPA in the Ross Sea. The vote against the 3 MPAs is disappointing, but not all hope is lost.
3 new countries swung their vote to approve the MPAs. Uruguay, Norway, and Australia all voted for approving the MPAs as they changed their votes. This change in momentum provides hope for next year's vote.
More hope is expected as it will be the 40th meeting of the 26 member committee called the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty System. Anniversaries like this can give countries a sense of pride in the work that has been conducted over the past 60 years and could lead to a vote in the right direction.
The quest to get these MPAs approved will continue until all of the countries are in favour. The Conservationists that are involved are very persistent to achieve their goals. They will not give up and it is why I have hope that the MPAs will get approved at some point. I think the fact that the Ross Sea MPA went through a similar process and trend enforces my hope that conservation will win out. We just can't give up.
When do you think the MPAs will be approved?
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