COP Or No COP, MAPS Is On The Agenda For A Healthy World

For the sake of all life, the all-volunteer international charity is moving forward with its work to secure country leader signatures on the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary Treaty, regardless of the cancellation of COP25 in Chile. initial member and General Counsel Vandana Erin Ryder, author of the MAPS Treaty, and Outreach and Alliance Lead Dr. Karen Ho, were set to travel to Santiago on their own time and funds, as all volunteers do, to advocate for MAPS at COP25. They stand ready to attend any rescheduled summit. But while the UNFCCC and UN member states scramble to find an alternate host, dates and program, one thing is clear: world leaders already have a direct and effective option to shift our collective trajectory into one that supports a healthy future.

MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, protects the world by safeguarding the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle as the largest preservation area in history. The Arctic Ocean is our planetary life support system. The Arctic ice has served for millennia as the Earth’s air conditioner. Its rapid melting has profound and far-reaching consequences. Dramatic and unprecedented warming is already driving sea level rise, and contributing to floods, droughts, intense storms, heat waves and wildfires. MAPS is a vital intervention to help ensure remaining Arctic sea ice will not be broken up further by exploitation of any kind. MAPS directly or indirectly supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by helping to create the environmental conditions in which life can thrive, and fits naturally with the United Nations’ commitment to protect 10% of our oceans by 2020.

MAPS is the only initiative that addresses multiple global crises with one immediate and practical response. It is the comprehensive, concrete international action needed to fulfill the promises of the Paris Agreement. With the ready-made mechanism of the MAPS Treaty, all that is needed for MAPS to enter into force is the signatures from 99 world leaders of UN member states. The MAPS Treaty was mailed this past summer to all world leaders, so conveniently, it is already on their desks awaiting endorsement.

“We no longer have the luxury to see any region as separate,” says founder and CEO Parvati, the visionary for MAPS. “What happens in the Arctic Ocean affects us all.” These are the principles upon which the all-volunteer was founded and why it took the unprecedented step of creating the MAPS Treaty to update the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Two treaty signatures have already been secured. There is no time for bureaucracy at the speed of the status quo if we wish to protect life on Earth. Every day, more exploitation is planned for Arctic waters. Every second, 14,000 tons of Arctic ice melt into the ocean, with sea level rises predicted in a Nature study this week to be more serious than ever. Our world needs MAPS now.


“My prayers are with the nation of Chile, as well as with all life on Earth. More than ever, confronted with the suffering our world faces today and in the years to come, we must all step forward with bold, courageous hearts. MAPS is a voice for everyone, a voice that will not be silenced. In the wake of the cancellation of COP25, world leaders still have the opportunity to take strong and clear action by signing the MAPS Treaty. Now is the time to set aside perceived regional differences, recognize the special role of the Arctic Ocean in preserving and nurturing all life on Earth, and unite for the benefit of mankind as a whole.”

– Parvati, volunteer founder and CEO,; visionary of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary

“On the eve of the United Nations Environment Assembly this past March, we lost one of our own—Director of Strategic Initiatives Darcy Belanger, on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. That didn’t stop us. Instead, we rallied more strongly than ever for that conference, joining forces from Vancouver to Toronto to Nairobi to ensure the message of MAPS was carried forward. We have no intention of letting a cancelled United Nations summit deter us from taking the action our world needs. MAPS must be realized now.”

– Vandana Erin Ryder, volunteer initial member and General Counsel,; author of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary Treaty

“As a physician, when I listen to a patient, I know that each individual’s health is intimately connected with the health of their environment. We do not live in a vacuum, and each of our choices affects the balance of all other systems. Every day, I work to build the MAPS network all over the world, because it is about the interconnection and health of all life.”

– Dr. Karen Ho, volunteer Outreach and Alliances Lead,