Let’s celebrate: We have a High Seas Treaty! After two weeks of rollercoaster negotiations, the United Nations made a breakthrough, agreeing to language for this milestone. Among them were many nations who are part of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This is the culmination of decades working for a treaty to improve environmental protection of more than half the world’s oceans. This major win is the biggest change in ocean governance in a quarter-century. Among other outcomes we can look forward to: The treaty will boost oceans funding, biodiversity, marine protected areas (MPAs), environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures, management of marine genetic resources, and institutional change. And let’s all stay the course: This is a complicated treaty, so getting 60 countries over the line to ratify it at the country level needs our ongoing effort. Meanwhile, Antarctic-focused organizations like CCAMLR are already working on marine protected areas, but this agreement gives new momentum toward the “30x30” goal – to protect 30% of the world’s land and marine habitats by 2030. We can’t meet the 30% goal without Antarctica. We urge CCAMLR to seize this opportunity. Now’s the time to set an example, so that Antarctic marine protected areas can be a model for others created under the new treaty. While the 30x30 goal is ambitious, we’ve learned that anything is possible. We’ve been inspired by Chilean Barbara Hernandez’s record for the longest Antarctic swim, with her urgent plea to protect its waters. And we’ve been inspired by YOU. Millions of conservationists like you have spoken up and urged leaders to act on Antarctic and high seas protections in recent years. Thank you for signing the petitions, open-heartedly making the gifts, and all you’ve done for Antarctica and the planet. With you for Earth’s last great wilderness,
Claire Christian Executive Director Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition P.S. Please read on, below, for more Antarctic news and resources.
Images: David Mason & Amanda Preston Araujo, World Penguin Day Art Contest 2022
ENTER OUR WORLD PENGUIN DAY ART CONTEST World Penguin Day is April 25. We invite you to create a work of art to celebrate! You don’t need to be a pro artist to get in on the fun. And the contest is open to all ages, with a special category for kids. We select winners based on creativity and heart. Your penguin art can be absolutely anything, as long as it’s rated PG (appropriate for penguins of all ages) and can be submitted as an image or video file. Express your love for penguins through a song, a painting, a dance, a poem, a meme, an ice sculpture… you name it. See last year’s winners and honorable mentions. Due to overwhelming response in 2022: This year’s entries will be capped at 70 for the adult category and 30 for the children’s category. So don’t procrastinate! Entry opens TODAY, March 17. And closes at midnight Eastern Time on Sunday, April 9 – or as soon as each category reaches its entry cap. Enter the adult art contest HERE. Enter the kid contest HERE. We also encourage you to share your art to your social media channels using: #asocpenguinart and #worldpenguinday. Winners will be featured in our social media and on our website on and around World Penguin Day!
ANTARCTIC SEA ICE REACHES LOWEST LEVELS EVER RECORDEDAs climate scientist Dr. Ariann Purich puts it: “Everyone should be concerned.” Last summer, sea ice in the southern hemisphere reached an all-time low based on satellite observations that began in 1979. But new data shows that as of February 2023, that record has already been broken. The ice reached a new record low of 1.79m sq. km. on February 25 and beat the previous record by 136,000 sq. km. – an area twice as large as Tasmania. Find out more in this coverage from The Guardian. More evidence that we must stay focused on our shared fight to save the Antarctic. Thank you for standing with us.