Antarctica Conference Discusses Creation of Marine Protected Areas, Climate Change Impacts
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
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In the morning, after an opening ceremony, the first roundtable ‘Lessons from a Franco-Australian Success Story, thirty years on – from the Wellington Convention to the Madrid Protocol’ was held.

In the afternoon, two other roundtables took place: ‘The Antarctic and Southern Ocean in a changing environment’ and ‘Marine protected areas in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean’.

29 June 2017: The conference ‘Antarctica Today and Tomorrow’ addressed the environmental challenges facing Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and discussed the opportunity presented by the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs), with special focus on the an East Antarctic.

The conference took place in Paris, France, on 29 June 2017. It was organized by the Varda Group on behalf of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), and convened in partnership with the Oceanographic Institute/Albert I Prince of Monaco Foundation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The conference brought together 250 participants representing governments, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and civil society.

In the morning, during an opening ceremony, Robert Calcagno, CEO, Oceanographic Institute – Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, explained that the conference aims to support and raise awareness of the proposal by Australia, France and EU partners to create a new MPA East Antarctic. He also called for the creation of two further MPAs by 2020, one in the Antarctic Peninsula and one in the Weddell Sea. The first roundtable ‘Lessons from a Franco-Australian Success Story, thirty years on – from the Wellington Convention to the Madrid Protocol’ focused on the success factors of the adoption of the Madrid Protocol.

One roundtable addressed the basis for the designation of MPAs, as well as challenges to their management, in particular IUU fishing.

In the afternoon, the roundtable ‘The Antarctic and Southern Ocean in a changing environment’ focused on the state of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean, as well as climate change adaptation measures that could be taken to increase its resilience. The second afternoon roundtable ‘Marine protected areas in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean’ addressed the basis for the designation of MPAs, as well as challenges to their management, in particular illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

During the closing ceremony, Jean-Louis Étienne, Polar Explorer, stated that “Antarctica is not a continent for man, it is a continent for the Earth.” [IISD RS Coverage of Antarctica Today and Tomorrow] [Conference Website]


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