Yes, it is not a typo. The OSPAR Award. A long awaited Award that the Arctic well deserves.
But, what is an OSPAR? The OSPAR Convention is an international agreement of 15 European countries (Arctic and non Arctic states) plus the European Union with the power and mandate to protect international waters from environmental harm done by human activities.
The icy waters around the North Pole are international waters. There is an important extension of those international waters that the OSPAR Commision have now the chance to protect: 232.000 square kilometres, as a matter of fact. A well-deserved Award of protection for the Arctic and a big and much needed reward for the planet.
The heroes from the movies are the ones capable to make us dream big and believe that we can change the world. The OSPAR Convention and its countries delegates are the leading actors and actresses of this heroic Arctic film: they have now the real power to declare protection for a 10% of the Arctic Sanctuary that Greenpeace is calling for. Following the mandate of the United Nations of creating a worldwide network of Marine Protected Areas and taking on from political will, the OSPAR Commission delegates have now the historical chance to place a red carpet in the Arctic, as in the dazzling and sparkling Oscar ceremonies, that draws a clear “no trespassing beyond this point” line to oil companies. While the Arctic is melting, oil and gas companies are playing conqueror of its territory and claiming for its natural resources, like real ‘baddies’ of this Arctic movie.
OSPAR has been a Convention with significant political power but with little public profile, and which has to date been dormant in the the Arctic. In June 2015, the Commission can secure a Commitment to create a future Marine Protected Area. Greenpeace, following the demands of almost 7 million people worldwide calling for an Arctic Sanctuary, is asking the OSPAR Convention to live up to its mandate and protect the Arctic. Next week, the Heads of Delegation will meet in a Coordination Group in London (UK) and Greenpeace will be there to ask them to be the real heroes of this Arctic film and make history protecting this vital ecosystem for our planet.
Let’s give this Arctic film a happy end!
Please sign here to ask the OSPAR delegates to take the lead on Arctic protection.
Pilar Marcos is Arctic Team Leader at Greenpeace Spain
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