The Excruciating Pain of International Diplomacy

Blog by Lewis Pugh, endurance swimmer and the UN Patron of the Oceans.

Have you ever watched a bridge being built? It is fascinating.

I lived on the Thames while the Millennium Bridge was under construction. The engineers didn’t start from one bank and progress towards the other. They started on both sides – and met in the middle.

First they built stable platforms on the edge of each bank. Then they erected two strong concrete piers in the middle of the river. And when they were ready, they lowered the bridge, in three parts, to meet in the middle. Finally, they reinforced it with strong supporting cables, so when it was complete, the structure was firm and united.

Diplomacy is a lot like building bridges.Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 12.58.31

Last month I flew to Moscow, just two weeks after I’d had an operation on my back. My surgeon had advised me to stay in bed for six weeks. But timing is everything, and I had a crucial dinner to attend – which was all about bridge building.

The flight was excruciating. I spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling of the plane, counting. When I swim in freezing water, I count.…

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Vale Michel Rocard, father of Antarctic protection, 1930-2016

Some say Antarctica is the last pristine wilderness left on the planet. It is the only place in the world where the environment and science are prioritised both on the continent and in the surrounding Southern Ocean. How did this region escape war, human destruction, mineral exploitation and rampant development?

The answer is that Antarctica is home to one of the most successful international agreements: The Protocol of Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.…

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The latest climate science from Antarctica

It’s already happening. The latest science shows some regions of Antarctica have already been affected by climate change. Marine reserves are crucial for scientists to study these climate change impacts.

By creating a large system of marine protected areas in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, we can better understand and limit the impacts of climate change, both on this fragile ecosystem and around the world.…

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When We Protect Our Environment We Foster Peace

By Desmond Tutu Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town

On June 9th a dinner on polar protection and leadership with a focus on the Ross Sea was held in Moscow. All ambassadors from the CCAMLR countries were invited and it was hosted by UNEP Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh and José María Figueres (former President of Costa Rica and former Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission) both spoke.…

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Six months since Paris, and what have we learnt?

Take the next step_header

June 8 marks World Oceans Day and the six-month anniversary of the historic Paris climate agreement – two very good reasons for celebration.

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Despite substantial movement from China on Antarctic Conservation, Southern Ocean progress remains stalled while protection efforts expand around world

HOBART, 30 October 2015 – The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has again failed to agree to protect key areas in the Ross Sea and in East Antarctica at its annual meeting in Hobart.

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Ocean protection is trending across the world, now for the Southern Ocean!

October 19-30 is a momentous time for Antarctic oceans. Delegates from 24 nations and the EU are gathering for CCAMLR in Hobart, Tasmania, to begin two big weeks of negotiations around conservation commitments for the Southern Ocean.

We have the potential to see a comprehensive network of very large marine protected areas formed in this pristine oceanic paradise at the bottom of our planet.…

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Have you taken the krill quiz?

Antarctic Krill by Uwe Kils

How deep does your love of Antarctica’s oceans run?

red star fish closeup

How much do you know about the Southern Ocean? Take this quiz and find out!

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