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Saving whales: a cause worth fighting war Last Updated on 2013-01-04 12:27:30 In the 20th century humans slaughtered 1.5 million whales. It's time now to end the whale hunt and The War Against Nature, writes Reese Halter. Four Japanese whaling boats have once again set sail for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. And four Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boats with 120 crew representing 26 nations are waiting to intercept and stop them. It is without a doubt the most courageous and perhaps meaningful fight in The War Against Nature as the new year of 2013 commences. This year the stakes are at an all-time high as the Japanese have armed coast guards on their boats, and a recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals stated that Sea Shepherd boats are to remain at least 500 yards from whaling vessels. Led by their founder Paul Watson the Sea Shepherd has recently added a new fourth vessel - in a twist of fate, buying a former Japanese... More »
Defense leaders push US to sign sea treaty Last Updated on 2012-05-07 00:00:00 WASHINGTON (AP) — Top defense leaders argued Wednesday for the U.S. to ratify a long-debated treaty governing ocean rights in order to bolster the nation's national security interests in the Asia-Pacific region and other key global waters. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said approving the United Nations Law of the Sea treaty will strengthen America's strategic position in Asia. \"The western Pacific is a mosaic of competing claims for territory and for resources," Dempsey said during a forum hosted by the Atlantic Council and the Pew Charitable Trusts. "This is a critical region where, as a Pacific nation, our security and economic prosperity are inextricably linked. We have a vested interest in mitigating any conflict in the Asia-Pacific before it occurs." The U.S. is the only major nation that has refused to... More »
Marine Ecosystem Pledges Unmet, Data Shows By Last Updated on 2012-05-04 00:00:00 Countries have made little progress in meeting their obligations to protect fragile marine ecosystems under the international Convention on Biological Diversity, new United Nations data shows. Just 1.6 percent of the oceans has been set aside for marine protected areas, according to new data provided to The Times by the World Conservation Monitoring Center, part of the United Nations Environment Program. That is far below the 10 percent that nations had agreed to set aside by 2020 at a meeting in Japan in October 2010. The latest data, while disappointing, could help to shape the debate next month at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro. Ocean conservation will be an important topic at the conference, whose two main themes are ”a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty... More »
Bringing the Ocean back into the Earth Summit: Recommendations to the first Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD2012 Last Updated on 2011-01-11 00:00:00 With 70% of the Earth covered by the ocean, and given the importance of the ocean as the life support system of Planet Earth, now is the time for UNCSD to pay due attention to the needs of the ocean, and to the hundreds of millions of people who depend on healthy ocean ecosystems for their very survival. GESDPE: sustainable development and poverty eradication UNCSD should ensure that the principles of the Rio Declaration and the commitments contained in Rio, Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), which are still sound today, are operationalized in a time-bound and effective final outcome, which must be bold, visionary and effective. Sustainability is at the heart of UNCSD, as it was at the heart of Rio and WSSD, but it has been the casualty of ineffective international frameworks and organizations and national implementation over the last 20 years.   With... More »
United States leadership in the Arctic Ocean Last Updated on 2009-12-02 00:00:00 The United States has vital interests in the Arctic Ocean, given Alaska's location and the impact of climate change in the far north on the world's environment, natural resources, population and security. The United States needs to assert leadership now to promote ecologically sound, productive and peaceful management of the Arctic Ocean. U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the urgent first step in this regard but it should be accompanied by an initiative to make the central Arctic Ocean a peaceful preserve for all humankind. The effects of climate change are most dramatic in the polar regions. Sea ice, which has covered the Arctic Ocean for centuries if not millennia, is receding and thinning rapidly, declining 10 percent per decade. The way of life of indigenous peoples is drastically changing. There will be open water seasonally across the... More »