Wednesday, July 17th 2013 - 19:35 UTC

Russia blocks creation of two huge Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica

An extraordinary meeting of the Commission of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Ross Sea region and in East Antarctica wrapped up on Tuesday without an agreement after Russia with support from Ukraine blocked the initiative.

The MPAs initiative will be again discussed at the CCAMLR regular meeting in Hobart, Australia

The nyet squad

“The outcome is not what we expected or hoped for ... We did not reach a consensus,” Terje Lobach, the Commission's chairperson, said on Tuesday at the end of the meeting in the northern German town of Bremerhaven.

Delegates at the conference in Bremerhaven looked at two proposals to create huge ocean sanctuaries off Antarctica.

The first, which was proposed by the United States and New Zealand, would have covered an area of 1.6 million square kilometers (640,000 square miles) of the Ross Sea, a deep bay on the Pacific side of the continent.

The other, supported by the European Union, France, and Australia, would have protected 1.9 million square kilometers on the Indian Ocean side of Antarctica.

However, the Russian delegation supported by neighboring Ukraine, raised questions about the CCAMLR legal power to implement any such proposal, according to environmental groups.

“The actions of the Russian delegation have put international cooperation and goodwill at risk, the two key ingredients needed for global marine conservation”, said Andrea Kavanagh, in charge of the Southern Ocean Sanctuaries campaign at the US green group Pew Environment.

“After two years of preparation, including this meeting, which Russia requested to settle the scientific case for the Ross Sea and East Antarctic proposals, we leave with nothing,” Steve Campbell, director of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance of environmental groups, said.

In conciliatory statement CCAMLR said that “establishing MPAs is a complex process involving a large amount of scientific research as well as international diplomacy.

Although CCAMLR members benefited from the extensive exchange of views on MPA in the CCAMLR Convention Area, agreeing on two major proposals for the establishment of MPA proved to be a task requiring more time than was available during the two-day Special Meeting. The Meeting decided that further consideration of the proposals was needed. Therefore, there will be further discussions among Members until CCAMLR annual meeting in October 2013 when the proposals may be further discussed”.

The head of the German delegation, Walter Dübner, expressed hope that an agreement could still be reached at a later date. He told the German news agency that as he broke off Tuesday's negotiations, he had called on the Russian delegation to come up with its own proposals.

“We should start to look for compromise solutions for the two proposals that are on the table,” Dübner said.

A meeting in Hobart, Australia, last October also failed to reach an agreement, due to the objections of Russia, China and Ukraine. The next meeting is scheduled for this coming October in Hobart, by which time Dübner said he hoped the Commission will have been able to address Russia's legal concerns.

“CCAMLR history shows that decisions involving complex issues, such as establishing MPA, require a substantial amount of time and consideration. This has been demonstrated in the Commission’s discussions on issues in the past such as satellite based vessel monitoring systems and matters associated with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing”, concluded the official CCAMLR release.

10 comments Feed

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1 ChrisR (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 09:30 pm Report abuse
Putin's stuck in that 'sub' and is pissed off with the sea.
2 Anglotino (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 09:31 pm Report abuse
Perhaps Russia, Chia and Ukraine should piss off back to the northern hemisphere and stop meddling in a part of the world where they have no territories.

Economic self interest pure and simple. Considering China and Russia economic policies they don't want to miss out on raping a new environment sometime in the future.
3 Troneas (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 09:42 pm Report abuse
@2. and which territories do the united states and the rest of the EU have in the southern hemisphere?

and of course its economic self interest. why do you think the UK gives a damn about the malvinas? if they didn't keep a colony in the islands you would have added them to your list of countries meddling in parts of the world they have no business concerning themselves about.

as it is they get to have a say on what goes in down here. how convenient for them.

... and you thought it was about self-determination. lol.
4 Britworker (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 09:54 pm Report abuse
It matters not, the Falkland Islands pre-date Argentina, we have been in the South Atlantic for a very very long time and we have no intentions of leaving because a bunch a johnny come lately dagoes want us to.

We can at least protect the British Antartic Territory and Queen Elizabeth Land from marauding usurpers.
5 Baxter (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 12:17 am Report abuse
3 Troneas . You may have not noted but we call them Falkland Islands.
6 Anglotino (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 02:27 am Report abuse
Actually Troneas your deficient education obviously missed that the UK, France, US and Norway all have territories within the southern hemisphere.

Last time I checked, and again your deficient education may correct me if I am wrong, but Russia, Ukraine and China have never had sovereign territory within the southern hemisphere.

It's sheer stupidity if you think that the UK keeps the Falkland Islands for any reason other than the Falkland Islands themselves. It definitely doesn't need them to protect or use them for any other claim.
7 Baxter (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 02:52 am Report abuse
In fact another example of the new Putin . Now reasserting Russian power . Slowly , but surely , he is moving to reassert Russian influence . And at what a good moment . A US president who is lost in the world of diplomacy . And some fools in the UK want to scrap the Trident nuclear deterrent !
8 Anglotino (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 04:34 am Report abuse
Baxter, being a spoil-sports isn't asserting power. It just means you are taken less seriously. Considering the major economic and demographic problems faced by Russia I am not worried in the least that Russia is about to have anything like the power the USSR had.

For all Obama's faults, the US is guaranteed a new president every 4 or 8 years. Russia can't get rid of Putin and the vested interests are ossifying and preventing any changes that erodes or limits their wealth or power. The same problem that China, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba etc face.

Russia isn't even in the same league as the US and UK. It is akin to putting Argentina in the same league as Australia. Maybe in the past but not any longer.
9 Baxter (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 01:25 pm Report abuse
I would love to agree with you . But history does show that Russia has always caused trouble ,long before the Soviet Union . Trying to get a foothold in India .
The Crimea War ,trying to extend their influence in tha area .
True Obama was freely elected ,but so was Hitler , Mussolini, Kirchner and Mujica ! He does seem to understand that he is leader of the free world not a third rate country preacher
10 mikey48 (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 08:14 pm Report abuse
Like the war in syria,the western countries want assist,but again russia an china are blocking.

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