Arctic Sanctuary Sought Around North Pole

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Greenpeace on a mission to protect the Arctic is carrying a specially designed time capsule that contains a 2.7 million signature declaration demanding that the Arctic be designated an internationally recognized global sanctuary. (© Christian Aslund / Greenpeace)

The European Parliament today passed a resolution calling for a protected area around the North Pole which could ban oil companies and industrial fishing fleets from the region. The text echoes the demands of an international campaign which has attracted the support of over five million people including Sir Paul McCartney and U.S. oceanographer, Sylvia Earle.

The move represents a clear break from the current positions of ‘Arctic Council’ members such as Norway, Denmark, Canada and Russia who have resisted calls for permanent protection of the Arctic region. In contrast, Finland, another Arctic state, recently adopted the sanctuary proposal as official policy.

Clause 38 of the resolution states that the European Parliament “Supports the initiative by five Arctic coastal states to agree on interim precautionary measures to prevent any future fisheries in the Arctic high seas without the prior establishment of appropriate regulatory mechanisms, and supports the development of a network of Arctic conservation areas and, in particular, the protection of the international sea area around the North Pole outside the economic zones of the coastal states”

Reacting to the news, Greenpeace activist and Arctic 30 member Sini Saarela from Finland said, “What happens in the Arctic matters to us all. I’m delighted by this news because it will spark a new conversation that we need to have together. By calling for a sanctuary around the North Pole, MEPs have responded to the millions of people who want to protect the Arctic for future generations.

“This is a direct challenge to the small group of countries who are rushing to open up the fragile Arctic for oil drilling and industrial fishing. The status quo is starting to crack, and this now demands a real response from those who see the melting Arctic simply as a new source of profit.”

Saarela was one of 28 activists and two freelance journalists who staged a peaceful protest at an Arctic oil rig owned by Gazprom, Russia’s energy giant in September. The “Arctic 30”, as they became known, spent two months in prison on charges of piracy and hooliganism before receiving amnesty from the Russian Duma (Government).

The European Parliament also stressed the need for a binding agreement on pollution prevention at the Arctic Council – an international forum criticised by environmentalists for its closeness to the oil industry. According to Greenpeace, previous voluntary agreements on oil spill readiness have lacked teeth.

The resolution is expected to push the Arctic more firmly onto the agenda of EU foreign ministers and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who have so far been reluctant to speak out against the rapid industrialization of the region by international oil companies including Shell, BP and Russia’s stse owned energy giant Gazprom.
 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

News

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

People in the News

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Damen Shipyards Galati wins Dutch Romanian Award

Damen Shipyards Galati has been presented with the Dutch Romanian Business Award for its Corporate Social Responsibility plan, particularly the Group’s community investment initiatives.

Lowrance Renews Insight Genesis College Cup

Lowrance®, a world-leading brand in fishing electronics since 1957— announced today the renewal of its Insight Genesis™ College Cup. In its second year, the

Arctic Operations

Reports on Rosneft Arctic Projects

On December 18, Member of Rosneft Board of Directors, special representative of President of the Russian Federation on international cooperation in the Arctic

BSEE Attends Arctic Council Meeting

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) David M. Moore recently traveled to Seattle, Wash., for a meeting of the Arctic Council Emergency Prevention,

RV Sikuliaq: Modern Electric Propulsion & Power Management

While ships have used electricity to help power vessels for a long time, new and sophisticated diesel-electric technologies are making serious gains in efficiency,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1664 sec (6 req/sec)