But… what does OSPAR, the Convention for the Protection of the marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic have to do with movies?
During its 23 years of existence, OSPAR and its delegates have played a key role taking bold and progressive decisions aimed at protecting international waters of the North-East Atlantic from environmental harm from human activities. Here are the stories that OSPAR contributed to give a happy ending to. The same happy ending that 7 million Arctic Defenders worldwide are asking for in the Arctic film Save the first slice of the Arctic:
Decision on platform decommissioning: in 1998, as well as adopting highly progressive and ambitious strategies to address hazardous and radioactive substances, and agreeing the legal ban on disposal at sea of oil and gas platforms, OSPAR also granted permission for observers to participate at all technical levels, including civil society organizations such as Greenpeace.
Marine Protected Areas: The Charlie-Gibbs Marine Protected Area, and six additional MPAs, established by OSPAR in 2010 and 2012 to protect the unique natural features associated with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge were the first set of conservation areas ever to be established in international waters in the North Atlantic, and the world’s first network of High Seas Marine Protected Areas.
The adoption of the Hazardous Substances Strategy in 1998, which, after 2003, made a vital contribution to the final direction of the REACH regulations now in place across Europe, especially with regards to substances of very high concern and substitution.
Since 2010, OSPAR has developed an increased focus on the trends and impacts with regard to climate change and ocean acidification, producing documents about the effects of climate change on the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.
Next week in London, OSPAR delegates will have the chance to become the real celebrities of the best film for the planet: a commitment for further protection of the Arctic Ocean, the world’s least protected ocean, from the threats it’s facing. There is of course no reason for them NOT to do this – with the international Convention on Biological Diversity (to which all OSPAR nations are signatories) listing the region as Ecologically and Biologically Significant after exhaustive review by all countries, for OSPAR to fail to protect their part of the Arctic would bring nothing but shame.
An OSPAR Award would mean protection and commitment with the Arctic. Indeed, it would be the best reward for the planet because the Arctic ecosystem is essential for the life on Earth as we know it.
It’s time for OSPAR to make history. Again.
Please sign here to ask the OSPAR delegates to take the lead on Arctic protection.
Sara del Río is a Policy Advisor for Greenpeace Spain.
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