From June 15, the 25th annual meeting of the Arctic Treaty will take place. It will be an opportunity to discuss again all the environmental issues that affect this region of the globe. It will deal with the management of fauna and flora and the 52 scientific bases host nearly 1,500 scientists who take advantage of the isolation and harshness of the climate, conducive to scientific research in this territory very exposed to climate change.
Signed in 1959 by 12 countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Union of South Africa, USSR, United Kingdom and the USA), joined by 42 other states, the Antarctic Treaty provides that the “white continent” is reserved exclusively for peaceful and scientific activities. It has also frozen all territorial claims and promotes international cooperation. (1)
For 10 days and under the leadership of France, which will hold this meeting for the first time since 1989, the 54 signatory states will be responsible for laying the groundwork for safeguarding the biodiversity of this continent. The treaty froze land claims on Antarctica and dedicated this landless continent to scientific and peaceful activities. But behind the scenes will also be played out the delicate question of the marine areas bordering Antarctica, rich in exceptional biodiversity and crucial against climate change. "We have been asking for the creation of two marine protected areas for eight years, but Russia and China are going it alone," refusing that these areas be classified, explained to AFP Olivier Poivre d'Arvor, the French ambassador. for the poles and maritime issues. But "if we do not classify them, we leave them to the fishermen, which threatens the krill" , these small shrimps which feed the fauna of the Antarctic and form a "vital biomass" . Mr Poivre d'Arvor will therefore have the heavy task of trying to convince these two nations.
The latter also took the opportunity to recall the decisive role that France must play "at the highest political and diplomatic level" in order to move the lines in the direction of flawless preservation of biodiversity.
Will also be mentioned the budgets allocated by France to the polar zones which are currently 30 million per year. For many, it would be advisable to double this sum if France wants to reach the same level as the other European countries.
It should be noted that the Arctic is a “natural reserve dedicated to peace and science” and that since the signing of the Madrid Protocol on October 4, 1991, any exploitation of mineral resources is prohibited there. This region is a mine of biodiversity which must be preserved and supported by international cooperation. The meeting that will begin is here to remind you
- - Source - France Diplomatie.