June 14, 2024

Environmentalists: Little Progress at Antarctic Meeting | Sciences

According to environmental organizations, the Antarctic Conference in Finland ended without much progress being made in protecting the climate and emperor penguins. The outcome of the Antarctic Treaty Advisory Parties (ATCM) meeting in Helsinki does not reflect the extent of the climate and biodiversity crises the region around the South Pole is currently facing, ASOC has criticized.

The conference dealt with issues of climate protection and the protection of important species, but made little progress on the path to the necessary actions, the association announced at the end of the nearly two-week meeting. However, smaller achievements have been made, such as the establishment of a new protected area in East Antarctica and widespread agreement on the importance of effective regulation of shipping and tourism. However, efforts to improve the organization of tourism in Antarctica have largely come to nothing.

“ATCM once again missed the opportunity to secure the future of Antarctica,” complained Claire Christian, ASOC’s general manager. The main outcome of the meeting was a declaration that would have limited practical effects. A small group of countries blocked calls for wording in the statement about the urgency of taking action to mitigate the worst effects of climate change in Antarctica. One member also stood in the way of the decision to designate the emperor penguin as a specially protected species.

The annual ATCM deals with protected areas on land and on the ice shelf, and the CCAMLR Antarctic Commission meetings deal with marine protected areas. A special meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) will be held in Chile from June 19-23, shortly after the ATCM session in Helsinki.

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