April 3, 2018 – For Immediate Release

Wendy Benchley, a renowned global voice for protecting sharks and safeguarding our seas, has joined the SIGNMAPS Coalition as a supporter of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS).

In a time when the UN is still well short of its target to protect just ten per cent of the world’s oceans, MAPS protects three per cent in a single international agreement. MAPS also stops all activity in the Arctic Ocean that harms the melting polar ice, our planet’s air conditioner, and ensures the regeneration of this essential ecosystem.

“Over the past forty years we have witnessed the wholesale destruction of Earth’s fragile marine ecosystems, including collapsing fisheries, massive coral reef die-offs, mega-ton piles of plastic pollution, and vast oxygen-choked dead zones across all corners of our blue planet,” says Benchley. “This destruction coupled with the powerful systemic pressures of climate change, which are rapidly warming the global ocean—accelerating both sea level rise and acidification—have created an unprecedented need to protect as much of the ocean as possible to allow our seas to recover and rejuvenate. To this end, we have made progress over the past decade in establishing more than 5,000 MPAs covering more than three per cent of the ocean, but the scientific consensus is that to create a fully sustainable ocean, we need to fully protect at least 30 per cent. That’s a nearly ten-fold difference that must be addressed.

Given this urgency, I strongly support the creation of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS), which will establish all ocean waters north of the Arctic Circle as a marine protected area, free from oil drilling and all other exploitation by companies and countries—forever.”

To establish MAPS in international law, Parvati.org created the MAPS Treaty. The Treaty prohibits all harmful human activities in the Arctic Ocean including commercial shipping and fishing, military exercises, seismic testing and oil and gas extraction. It has been translated into all official UN languages, provided to all 193 UN member states, and shared with officials at COP21, COP22 and COP23.

“Wendy Benchley is a staunch advocate for ocean life, like her late husband Peter Benchley,” says Parvati.org founder Parvati Devi. “Her dedication to our oceans is lifelong, beautiful and inspiring. May all follow her lead and activate for a healthy world, beginning with the Arctic Ocean.”

The SIGNMAPS coalition is a growing group of organizations who agree that we need the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary now. Learn more at signmaps.org.

Citizens of all nations are urged to sign and share the MAPS petition at https://parvati.org, and to call on their governments to ratify MAPS immediately.