The North Pole Can Help the South Pole – with MAPS
There is growing concern about ice loss in the Antarctic and its potential impact on global sea levels – and with good reason. The ice caps at both poles are our planetary guardians, preserving life, stable weather, and food and water. But one of the most important ways to safeguard the Antarctic is to protect its sister, the Arctic Ocean.
Decades-old agreements have kept natural resource exploitation out of the Antarctic. A number of marine conservation areas now exist around its land base. However, almost no significant protection exists for the Arctic Ocean, whose ice volume in summer is 75% less than it was 50 years ago. Even as parts of the Arctic Ocean are now 4C warmer than normal, business interests seek to exploit this vulnerable ecosystem and the minerals in its seabed. This must not happen. The Arctic sea ice stands between us and global calamity. To do anything that contributes to its demise is actively suicidal behavior.
MAPS (the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary) is a life-saving, game-changing initiative to stop all activity in the Arctic Ocean that harms the melting polar ice. At the same time, it compels an immediate global pivot to renewable energies, and a paradigm shift from short-term greed to long-term good. This is the urgently needed intervention that will help mitigate ice loss – at both poles. This profoundly practical yet effective response to so many problems facing our world must be implemented now, before time and ice run out.
Luminaries such as Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Louie Psihoyos, Peter Neill, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Julia Butterfly Hill have endorsed the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, which declares the Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle an international peace park, free from exploitation of all kinds, in perpetuity.
Many leading scientists now call for half the earth to become protected areas. 15,000 scientists recently signed an urgent warning to the world that we must change our ways to prevent global catastrophe. As Dr. Earle says, “MAPS is an idea whose time has come.”
To support the speedy realization of MAPS, the Canadian not-for-profit Parvati.org took the unprecedented step of creating the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary Treaty as an addendum to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The MAPS Treaty has been translated into all official UN languages, provided to all 193 UN member states, and shared with officials at COP21, COP22, COP23 and UNGA 72. It enters into force with the signatures of 99 nations.
“Our planet is in crisis, headed towards unimaginable danger with a vulnerable Arctic Ocean,” says Parvati.org founder, the musician, activist, yogini and author Parvati. “There is no time for anything but the most bold and courageous actions for a healthy world: MAPS now. Let us all remember our interconnection and act to protect Nature and all life on Earth – including our own.”
Everyone can make a difference for MAPS by signing and sharing the MAPS petition at https://parvati.org, and calling on their world leaders to sign the MAPS Treaty immediately.