While Canadian Government Stalls, Canadian Volunteer Meets Small Island Nations for Arctic Ocean Protection

While Canadian Government Stalls, Canadian Volunteer Meets Small Island Nations for Arctic Ocean Protection

While Canada’s government pays lip service to urgently needed ocean conservation with its April 25 promise to stop exploitation in protected areas, one Canadian has traveled to Suva, Fiji on her own funds and time for the third Climate Action Pacific Partnership Conference (CAPP III). She’s giving world leaders there the chance to sign the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) Treaty, which creates the largest protected area in history and safeguards all life on Earth.

The Arctic Ocean is our planet’s air conditioning system. It balances weather patterns globally so that we all have the food and resources we need to survive. But it’s under threat as never before, as its ice vanishes and corporations and governments seek to profit from the open waters. The result is more natural disasters, crop failures, food shortages, poverty, disease, rising sea levels, mass migration and ever-increasing suffering worldwide. Small Island Developing States (SIDS), who make up the majority of the CAPP III delegations, have contributed the least to this underreported environmental and humanitarian crisis unfolding in our world today. Yet they face some of the most severe effects.

MAPS is an immediate and effective response. It declares the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle an international peace park, stopping all the activities that harm the melting ice. By taking Arctic Ocean exploitation and militarization off the table for good, MAPS will accelerate a global shift to sustainability on all levels, and inspire a change from short-term gain for a few to the long-term good of all.

Led by its founder and CEO the award-winning musician, author and activist Parvati, the all-volunteer non-profit organization Parvati.org created the MAPS Treaty as an addendum to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. An unprecedented move by an NGO, the MAPS Treaty enters into force with the signatures of 99 UN member nations. Two SIDS nations have already signed: Samoa and the Cook Islands.

Parvati.org’s General Counsel Vandana Erin Ryder is now in Fiji to secure further MAPS support from SIDS leaders. It will be a poignant trip for Vandana, as she is there in place of her colleague Darcy Belanger. Darcy, Parvati.org’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, died tragically earlier this year on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, on his way to represent MAPS at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi. Today at CAPP III, a video tribute to Darcy and MAPS was presented during the Ocean Pathway session.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government congratulates itself for creating small protected areas scattered throughout its oceans. Yet leading biologists say we must immediately protect half of our oceans and lands in order to prevent mass extinction. MAPS alone protects 3% of the world’s oceans. But Canada has taken no action on the MAPS Treaty since it was first provided to Prime Minister Trudeau three and a half years ago.

As ice melts into the Arctic Ocean at the rate of 14,000 tons a second and Arctic shipping routes are drawn up daily, we no longer have time for anything but bold, ambitious and decisive action to protect our planetary life support. That’s why Parvati.org is using arts, technology and the power of modern media to cool minds, lighten footprints, and awaken an inevitable call for MAPS. Everyone has the right to know a healthy world is possible.

QUOTES:

“Small island states like Samoa which are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change see MAPS as a realizable solution to addressing pivotal climate change issues.”
The Honourable Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa; First MAPS Treaty Signatory

“The Arctic – no matter where we come from and where we live – is the common heritage of all humans. Its fate and future have serious consequences for all of us.”
James Alix Michel, Former President of Seychelles; National Geographic Planetary Leadership Award Recipient

“As a mother, I am committed to ensuring our children inherit a healthy world. As Darcy’s friend and colleague, I am determined to finish what he started. I’m going to Fiji because the leaders and citizens of small island developing states deserve the chance to protect their own homes and all life through MAPS.”
Vandana Erin Ryder, General Counsel at Parvati.org

“From the remote reaches of the Arctic Ocean to the tropical waters around the South Pacific islands, we are all connected. MAPS invites world leaders to recognize the special role of the Arctic Ocean in preserving and nurturing all life on Earth, and unite for the benefit of humankind as a whole. I implore all nation leaders attending CAPP III to sign the MAPS Treaty now.”
Parvati, award-winning musician, author and activist; Founder and CEO of Parvati.org

Secretary Pompeo, The Only Opportunity in the Arctic Ocean Is to Safeguard it Now.

Secretary Pompeo, The Only Opportunity in the Arctic Ocean Is to Safeguard it Now.

If US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo understood that exploiting the Arctic Ocean is destroying the life support system of the world he lives in, he would not be talking about “opportunities for trade” there. Instead, he would be working around the clock to stop a threat to Americans and to all life on Earth, that is escalating at a rate of 14,000 tons per second. That’s how fast Arctic ice is melting into the ocean, in what is the world’s largest underreported humanitarian and ecological crisis.

The Arctic Ocean is our planet’s air conditioner. It regulates the global weather patterns that grow the food and resources we all depend on. But today, this pivotal ecosystem is under threat like never before, creating a ripple effect of suffering for everyone and everything worldwide.

Since 2017, over 21,000 scientists from 184 countries have signed an open letter warning humanity that “soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out.” Despite these clear, even ominous warnings, many are invested in denial of the urgent problem we face and the critical importance of the Arctic Ocean for our survival. They are treating the newly open Arctic waters like open season—seeking short-term profit for a few rather than the long term good of all. This is a deadly error.

At a time when the Arctic Ocean is already weakened and vulnerable, exploitative interests (oil and gas, shipping and fishing, deep sea mining) break up remaining ice and hinder its ability to regenerate. This is as insane as using your air conditioner as a barbecue. Just as a factory dumping toxins into a river must answer to those far downstream who suffer the effects, so the US government must recognize that all nations and all life on the planet are effectively downstream from the Arctic Ocean.

Fortunately, an immediate and effective response to this global emergency already exists: MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. MAPS prohibits all exploitation—commercial, industrial and military—of the Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle, creating the largest protected area in history. The all-volunteer non-profit organization Parvati.org developed the MAPS Treaty as an addendum to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It has been translated into all six official languages of the UN, distributed to all 193 member states, and brought every year to UN Climate Conferences since 2015 by volunteers at their own expense. It enters into force with the signatures of 99 UN member nations.

Ironically, on the other side of the world, small island nation leaders are gathering next week with the understanding of how essential the Arctic Ocean is to all life on Earth. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi of Samoa, and Prime Minister Henry Puna of the Cook Islands, have already signed the MAPS Treaty. At the Climate Action Pacific Partnership Conference in Fiji on May 13 and 14, Parvati.org volunteer General Counsel Vandana Erin Ryder will speak with heads of government to secure more signatures.

“If Americans knew what a clear and present danger they were facing with the compromised Arctic Ocean, and that there is an immediate and effective response, they would call for change,” says Parvati.org Founder and CEO Parvati. “Secretary Pompeo and President Trump owe it to Americans and to all life to correct their course immediately.”

From the Arctic Ocean to the Desert, YOGIS UNITE For MAPS at Shakti Fest

From the Arctic Ocean to the Desert, YOGIS UNITE For MAPS at Shakti Fest

From May 9-13, at Joshua Tree, CA, MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, will feature at the world-renowned international yoga and music festival, Shakti Fest. Parvati.org volunteers will be on site to explain how MAPS keeps our world healthy, and how people can get involved. Shakti Fest founder Sridhar Silberfein says, “When we care for others and our environment, our spiritual progress moves very quickly.”

The Arctic Ocean is our world’s air conditioner, keeping our global weather patterns stable so we have the food and resources we need to survive. But today it is melting fast and under threat as never before, as interests seek to profit from the loss of ice. MAPS will safeguard the entire Arctic Ocean above the Arctic Circle, turning it into the biggest preservation area the world has ever seen. By taking exploitation – including seabed oil and gas – off the table for good, MAPS catalyzes a global shift to sustainability on every level. It inspires a change from short-term gain for a few, to the long-term good of the whole. And MAPS brings together people from all countries as one Earth family.

To realize MAPS, the all-volunteer international non-profit organization Parvati.org created the MAPS Treaty, translated it into the six official UN languages, and sent it to all 193 UN member states. Two nations have already signed the Treaty. The international yoga community can play a key role to help increase support.

Yoga awakens us to our inherent interconnection. As such, the yoga community is eco-conscious, interested in a healthy life and healthy world, and naturally aligned with MAPS. And as a yoga teacher, the leader of YOGIS UNITE has existing influence within this community.

Yogini, musician, author and activist, Parvati is the Founder and CEO of Parvati.org, and the visionary for both MAPS and YOGIS UNITE. YOGIS UNITE is a transformative movement for a peaceful, healthy planet, already joined by yoga luminaries such as Seane Corn, Deva Premal and Tias Little. The critical situation in the Arctic Ocean affects us all, and so everyone has a role to play in protecting it for the greater good. YOGIS UNITE gives yoga practitioners the opportunity to do karma yoga, the path to bliss through selfless service, by sharing the
heartening and uplifting message of MAPS with their communities.

YOGIS UNITE is part of Parvati.org’s Global Education Strategy (GES), the heartbeat of its plan to realize MAPS now. GES generates the international momentum to realize a healthy world at the speed required, given our current global ecological and humanitarian conditions. It creates lasting transformation in the way we see ourselves, each other and our world.

To realize MAPS now requires urgent action for immediate conservation. This is only possible by melting the hearts of the world, harnessing the exponential power of modern media to penetrate, permeate and pervade global awareness with MAPS in real time and on a global scale.

Parvati says, “MAPS is such a magnificent embodiment of the meaning of yoga, which literally means union. Together as yogis united for MAPS, we can restore peace and balance to the planet with the largest protected area in history.”

A Much-Needed Reality Check on Canada’s Marine Protection Policy

A Much-Needed Reality Check on Canada’s Marine Protection Policy

In a move akin to deciding not to shoot ducks in a bird sanctuary, the Canadian government has announced it will prohibit oil and gas, mining, dumping and bottom trawling activities in marine protected areas (MPAs). In other words, it is pledging the most basic measures that should already be fundamental to every marine conservation area. And unbelievably, economic activities will still be permitted on a “case-by-case basis” in marine refuges.

While the Canadian government congratulates itself for coming closer to the UN goal of 10% ocean protection by 2020, it neglects how inadequate this tiny commitment is. Leading biologists say we must immediately protect half of our oceans and lands in order to prevent mass extinction. As the steward of the longest coastline in the world, Canada has a responsibility not just to lead by example, but to consider the global impact of its choices. The world’s oceans are interconnected, and what happens off a Canadian coast can alter life for people on the other side of the planet.

Overhyped announcements like last week’s only serve to distract Canadians from the sobering truth that we are facing an underreported global crisis. A pivotal ecosystem that requires protection on a vast scale—one that takes up most of our coastline and literally affects all life on the planet—is being left vulnerable. Our tax dollars are supporting politicians and bureaucrats to pay lip service to marine protection while enabling everything but.

Most people don’t realize that the Arctic Ocean is our world’s air conditioner. Its ice regulates global weather patterns responsible for giving us all the food and water we need to survive. But today it’s melting fast. Worse, some business interests are treating the newly open Arctic waters like open season—polluting the environment and damaging the ice that remains. Though the exploitation of the Arctic Ocean poses a tremendous threat to life on Earth, it is largely ignored in the news media. Canadians deserve to know the real story.

The power to change the course of history is literally in Canada’s backyard, and in the Prime Minister’s hands. Prime Minister Trudeau only needs to sign the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) Treaty. In so doing, he becomes part of declaring MAPS, the world’s largest preservation area, encompassing the entire Arctic Ocean above the Arctic Circle and stopping all forms of exploitation. This is the marine protection our world requires.

If Canadians knew the truth, they would demand change. The all-volunteer non-profit organization Parvati.org is committed to telling the truth. That’s why the organization is now finalizing an innovative global education strategy that harnesses the exponential power of modern media to bring the truth to the international stage—in Canadian music, words and more. Because Canada deserves better. Humanity deserves better. Our world deserves better. We don’t have to—and we must not—settle for superficial action at this critical time.

The truth matters. The truth is that we are all interconnected. There is no safe place on Earth if the vulnerable Arctic Ocean is exploited. The truth is that the MAPS Treaty has been sitting on Prime Minister Trudeau’s desk for three years. While he delays, other countries are well ahead of Canada on the need to protect this vital ecosystem. Two world leaders have already signed the MAPS Treaty. What is Prime Minister Trudeau waiting for?

Parvati.org founder and CEO Parvati says, “Initiative with heart is history’s scribe. Action through compassion is the way forward. It is up to each one of us individually and collectively to choose what history is going to look like. I ask the Prime Minister, which side of history will you be on?”

The time is now to create the marine protection our world needs with MAPS. And that will truly be worth celebrating.

On Earth Day, African Volunteers Take a Strong Stand for the Arctic Ocean

On Earth Day, African Volunteers Take a Strong Stand for the Arctic Ocean

On Earth Day, recognizing the critical global importance of a peaceful and pristine Arctic Ocean, volunteers across Africa are taking a strong stand for MAPS–the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary.

As the Earth’s air conditioning and life support system, the Arctic Ocean holds the key to our healthy future. But its ice is melting fast, and exploitative interests seek to exploit newly open waters which will only cause more harm. MAPS is an urgently needed, practical and effective response. It turns the Arctic Ocean into the largest protected area in history, for the sake of life everywhere. It also creates a global shift to sustainability on all levels and inspires a shift from short-term gain for a few to long-term good of all.

The all-volunteer organization, Parvati.org, saw the growing emergency in the Arctic Ocean and took the unprecedented step to draft an international treaty as an addendum to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The organization’s volunteers translated the MAPS Treaty into all six official languages of the UN and sent it to the leaders of all 193 member states. With the signatures of 99 nations, the Treaty takes effect. It will make all ocean waters north of the Arctic Circle an international peace park, free from exploitation and military activity.

With signatures from 99 countries, the MAPS Treaty enters into force, protecting all life on Earth for generations to come. It has already been signed by Samoa and the Cook Islands. The 54 African nations can immediately tip the scales in favour of MAPS by signing the Treaty en masse.

That’s the purpose behind the multiple Earth Day celebrations being held today in Benin, Kenya and Nigeria. Though African nations have contributed the least to the environmental and humanitarian crisis unfolding in our world, they face some of the most severe effects. And if one passionate team of volunteers have their way, African nations will lead the way to a healthy world with MAPS.

International Youth for MAPS Lead and MAPS Ambassador, Omesa Mokaya, says, “Earth Day is an important day that is meant to show solidarity with environmental conservation and inspire masses to acknowledge and appreciate the ecosystem services that we draw from nature that are requisite for our survival.”

“I am deeply grateful to our MAPS Ambassadors in Africa for their selfless service and dedication to MAPS,” says Parvati.org Founder and CEO, award-winning musician, author, and activist Parvati. “When the Arctic Ocean is under threat, all of life on the planet is at risk. MAPS must be declared immediately to protect not only the Arctic Ocean but the world. When the voices of people everywhere rise in unison to demand that our leaders sign the MAPS Treaty, MAPS will be declared for the good of all.”

Omesa adds, “I urge every person to act in protecting the only home we have. Planet Earth. All you need to do is to join MAPS Ambassadors across the world who are committed to ensuring MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, is achieved. MAPS offers a myriad of benefits ranging from ecological harmony and social cohesion, to peace and tranquility, that are essential for our existence on Earth. MAPS is a practical response to a complex ecological and humanitarian crisis that will unfold if we watch and do nothing. MAPS is the future of the planet.”

EarthX, Largest Environment Expo, Features MAPS, Largest Ocean Preserve

EarthX, Largest Environment Expo, Features MAPS, Largest Ocean Preserve

The largest annual environment exposition and conference in the world is featuring the largest conservation area the Earth has ever seen. MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, is prominent this weekend at EarthX in Dallas, Texas. MAPS is an unprecedented global intervention to respond to today’s humanitarian and ecological crisis resulting from the melting of Arctic sea ice. This initiative fits perfectly with EarthX’s mission to educate and inspire actions for a more sustainable future worldwide.

For thousands of years, the Arctic Ocean has safeguarded all life on Earth from an overheated planet, but today it faces unprecedented threat. As its ice disappears at an alarming rate, businesses and governments are moving in to exploit it. To protect the Arctic Ocean for the good of all, Parvati.org created the MAPS Treaty, translated it into the six official languages of the UN, and mailed it to the leaders of all 193 UN member states. The MAPS Treaty establishes the Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle as the largest marine protected area in history—free from commercial fishing, natural resource exploitation, seismic testing, military activity and through-shipping traffic. Two world leaders have already signed the MAPS Treaty, and more signatures are expected soon. To establish MAPS Parvati.org has developed a global education strategy to melt the hearts of millions which is critical to keeping our world cool. The strategy educates and activates people of all nations to urge world leaders to sign the MAPS Treaty immediately to protect all life on Earth.

EarthX attracts more than 138,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental leaders, 700 exhibitors, and 400 speakers. This year’s EarthX takes place April 2628, 2019 in Dallas, TX and Dr. Karen Ho, member of Parvati.org’s Board of Directors, will be there to represent MAPS.

The Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) is hosting the Island Resilience Forum at EarthX and has invited Dr. Ho to discuss how MAPS supports United Nations Sustainable Goal 13: Climate Action. The GLISPA Leaders, the Presidents of Palau and Seychelles as well as the Prime Minister of Grenada, are working to build resilient and sustainable island communities. This is where MAPS comes in. Island nations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of a heating, exploited Arctic Ocean. Loss of sea ice and warmer Arctic air temperatures contribute to the melt of land ice, which raises sea levels around the world. MAPS protects the Arctic Ocean, our planet’s air conditioner, for the sake of all.

Dr. Ho’s attendance at EarthX will be bittersweet. She is there in place of of Darcy Belanger, Parvati.org’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, who was scheduled to attend again this year, but who tragically died last month on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. He had been en route to the UN Environment Assembly in Kenya. Dr. Ho says, “I am very honoured to be representing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary at EarthX. This summit brings together so many great ideas and strong advocates for the health of our planet and oceans, and MAPS is most fitting. It is also poignant that Darcy was presenting MAPS at last year’s EarthX, and I am humbled to be carrying forth the torch.”

EarthX organizers have also requested that Parvati.org present a video tribute to Darcy during the Rachel Carson Ocean Banquet, which will be followed by a period of silence. The Founder and CEO of Parvati.org and award-winning musician, activist, and author Parvati will narrate the video.

“With Darcy’s instrumental help, my vision for MAPS has become an unstoppable global movement with charities in the US, Canada and Europe, international law in the making, 48 coalition partners, representation in 24 countries, growing youth initiatives, and multiple exciting campaigns unfolding,” says Parvati. “We at Parvati.org are gutted at the loss of one of our initial members and are still catching our breath. But MAPS lives on and will be realized.”

What the Huffington Post Got Wrong about Darcy Belanger, Parvati.org and the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS)

What is the truth about Parvati.org, Darcy Belanger and the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary?

Why was Darcy Belanger on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302?

Was Darcy Belanger trying to stop climate change?

The following article originally published on Huffington Post Canada factually misrepresents Parvati.org, its director of Strategic Initiatives Darcy Belanger, who died aboard ET302, and its founder and CEO Parvati.

Since the Huffington Post editors have told us they will not correct the factual errors in their article, here is the truth.

  • Parvati.org makes no claim to protecting the entire Arctic region. MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, is exclusively focused on the Arctic Ocean, not on any landmass.
  • Parvati.org takes no position on climate change and makes no claim to stopping it.
  • Parvati.org is all-volunteer and self-funded. Darcy Belanger was on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on his own time, and his own funds.
  • Parvati is the founder and CEO of Parvati.org, and the originator of the vision for MAPS.

This is the article as it should have read.

Darcy Belanger Died In The Ethiopian Plane Crash. He Lived To Save Protect The Arctic World.

Parvati Devi,director founder and CEO of Parvati.org, mourns the loss of co-founder Darcy Belanger. She holds a photo of him and his idol Jane Goodall, a MAPS (Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary) supporter.

TORONTO — Darcy Belanger boarded an Ethiopian Airlines flight focused on his life’s mission: Save the Arctic Ocean, our world’s air conditioning system, to ensure all life has the food and water needed to survive. End climate change.

Flight 302 crashed shortly after it took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 10, killing the 46-year-old Edmonton native and 156 others on board. He’d never complete his journey to the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, or garner support for the cause he dedicated himself to everyday — the all-volunteer not-for-profit organization Parvati.org and its mandate to establish the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary a marine Arctic peace park through an international treaty.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, his Parvati.org colleagues are spreading this message for him. , repeating like a mantra, “It’s what Darcy would have wanted.”

Darcy Belanger with Jane Goodall, a MAPS supporter.

“He’s the emblem of what one person can do when they have the courage and commitment to the greater good of all,” said Parvati Devi, founder and CEO director of Parvati.org. She, Belanger and a few others joined Parvati to founded Parvati.org it in December 2014 about a decade ago. He was the brother she never had, she said.

“Darcy was on that flight as a messenger for an underreported humanitarian (climate change) crisis that 1,000 children die of every day,” Devi told HuffPost. The Arctic sea ice is our planet’s air conditioner, giving us all the food and water we need to survive. But it’s under threat as never before. Climate change is causing droughts and water shortages, heat waves, floods, and other extreme weather events that disproportionately affect children worldwide, according to UNICEF.

Belanger worked as an executive at a construction company and had recently relocated to Denver, Colorado with his wife, Amie. When he wasn’t working, he was doing yoga, meditating and dedicating long hours and his can-do attitude to Parvati.org and MAPS, supported by a daily meditation practice.the marine park.

“We’re talking about creating the world’s largest protected area in history, and there’s that inner chatter that says, ‘Who am I to do that?'” said Rishi Deva, also a founding member, and Devi’s husband.

When faced with a seemingly-insurmountable challenge, “Darcy would always just be like ‘Yes!’ Because of that, something would shift and everything became possible,” Deva said.

On behalf of Parvati.org, Belanger coordinated 300 volunteers, encouraged heads of government government officials to sign the MAPS Treaty Arctic Ocean treaty, including those from the Cook Islands and Samoa, ran campaigns and attended every UN Climate Change Conference since 2015, on his own time and at his own expense.

Last week, he flew from Denver to Washington D.C. before connecting to the flight to Addis Ababa, and then Nairobi. He was planning to meet for the first time African volunteers who’d been pressing their governments in Nigeria, Benin, Uganda and Kenya to sign the treaty. During his layover in Washington, Belanger posted a video.

“I’ll check in again. I don’t know where I’ll be. Maybe Ethiopia, maybe my final destination, Kenya, but I will keep you posted on the journey. Have a great day, bye,” he said, smiling in the video.

He sat beside John Hagen on the way to Addis Ababa, and spoke about his life, of his mission. “At the end of our flight we shook hands and wished each other well,” Hagen said in a statement. “The last time I saw him, he was walking down the concourse in Terminal 2, clearly happy and excited to be on his way to Nairobi.”

When Belanger didn’t arrive in the Nairobi airport to meet the African delegates, they called Devi, concerned. Soon, they realized he had been was on the flight that had crashed.

“It was a very harrowing Sunday morning, and it’s been harrowing ever since,” Devi said. “We’ve been at the frontlines to truly carry forward the legacy he left. It’s almost like we’re downloading elements of his personality — courage, compassion, interconnection, understanding we are all one Earth family.”

An outpouring of support from environmentalists has followed his death.

“Darcy was exactly the kind of compassionate leader our movement needs and cannot afford to lose,” said Climate Action Network Canada Executive Director Catherine Abreu in a statement.

One of the African delegates he was going to meet, Omesa Samwel Mokaya from Kenya, Nigeria said in a statement, “He inspired all our actions. Now it’s our turn to honor him. To do what he could have wanted us to do if he was here. For humanity, for the planet and for Darcy. I urge everyone to pick the motivation, dust yourself off, put yourself together and do all you can to see that this noble course is achieved.”

Darcy Belanger, Hero for the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, Lost on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

Darcy Belanger, Hero for the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, Lost on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

Parvati.org’s all-volunteer team announces with deep grief that our founding member and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Darcy Belanger, was one of the 18 Canadians who lost their lives on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019.

Admired for his courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities, Darcy was a hero in every sense of the word. He was passionately devoted to the protection of all life through the realization of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. On March 10, 2019, he died while on his way to serve that goal.

Having taken time off his day job as Director of Professional Development with PCL, Darcy was traveling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly. There, he was slated to meet with government officials, media and a growing pan-African volunteer contingent in support of MAPS.

Since supporting the North Pole mission of Canadian musician, activist and author Parvati to raise awareness of the melting polar ice, Darcy selflessly gave all he could to help the world. In 2014, when Parvati became aware of plans for seismic testing in Canada’s Arctic Ocean, Darcy was one of the first to join the cause for MAPS, recognizing the importance of the Arctic Ocean to our collective future. He co-founded Parvati.org and has been on the front lines for MAPS ever since.

For millions of years, the ice of the Arctic Ocean has kept our planet cool. It balances global weather patterns that give us the food and resources we all need to survive. But today it is under threat as never before. MAPS declares the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle a protected area, the largest in history.

On his own time and funds, supported by friends and loved ones who were moved by his courage, Darcy personally brought the MAPS Treaty to COP 21 in Paris, COP 22 in Marrakech, COP 23 in Bonn and COP 24 in Katowice, and UNGA 72 and 73 in New York, as well as to the Climate Action Pacific Partnership last July in Suva, Fiji. He would boldly approach the highest-ranking officials to engage them on MAPS and humbly serve alongside any willing volunteer. His unofficial title within Parvati.org was “quarterback” as he helped move MAPS forward at all levels.

Darcy was truly a champion and a force of nature, one whose passing leaves an unimaginable gap in this work as well as in the lives of his family, friends and colleagues. Yet he also leaves us with a deep determination to honor his legacy of courage, compassion and focus. He dedicated his life to moving MAPS to completion. Our MAPS global family, hundreds strong and all volunteers, is rallying like never before to ensure that all Darcy’s work is seen through to completion.

Supported by Africa Lead Omesa Mokaya locally in Nairobi and General Counsel Vandana Erin Ryder remotely from Vancouver, Parvati.org is attending all meetings Darcy had scheduled at UNEA.

“Darcy was like family to us,” says Omesa. “He inspired all our actions. Now it’s our turn to honor him, to do what he would have wanted us to do. We were at the UNEA 4 today talking to people and explaining MAPS. I’m personally committed to see MAPS achieved. I have more justification to do it now than ever, for humanity, for the planet and for Darcy.”

“Darcy demonstrated every day his commitment to MAPS,” says Parvati.org founder and director Parvati. “His legacy is what MAPS is about: the courage that recognizes our inherent interconnection and the action that arises out of compassion for all. May we live with profound courage in his honor.”

We ask all to respect the privacy of his wife and family and to hold them in thoughts and prayers. They strongly supported Darcy in all he did for MAPS, and asked that his heroism be made widely known. It is their wish that all donations in Darcy’s memory support MAPS.

Above all, we implore world leaders to immediately sign the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary Treaty. We have the opportunity today to prevent unthinkable tragedy on a global scale. Will we take it? Life, as we are shown so clearly today, is a short and precious gift. We must embrace our responsibility to look after one another as members of one Earth family while we can.

The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) Takes the Stage at UNEA-4

The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) Takes the Stage at UNEA-4

When world leaders meet for the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, March 11-15, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) will be front and centre. MAPS is being proposed as an “innovative solution for environmental challenges,” by the accredited Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Major Group. As the Arctic sea ice continues to melt with grave repercussions for all life, this endorsement of MAPS is vitally important.

The Arctic Ocean is our planet’s air conditioner and life support. Its ice regulates the weather that gives us the food and water we need to survive. But it’s under attack from oil, shipping, fishing and military interests that seek to exploit its open waters.

The all-volunteer organization Parvati.org saw this growing emergency and took the unprecedented step to draft an international treaty as an addendum to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The organization’s volunteers translated the MAPS Treaty into all six official languages of the UN and sent it to the leaders of all 193 member states. With the signatures of 99 nations, the Treaty takes effect. It makes all ocean waters north of the Arctic Circle an international peace park, free from exploitation and military activity.

“MAPS is an urgently needed, immediate and effective response to the crisis we face today,” says award-winning musician, author and activist Parvati, the founder of Parvati.org. “It not only turns the Arctic Ocean into the largest protected area in history, for the sake of life everywhere on Earth, it catalyzes a global shift to sustainability on all levels and inspires a change from short-term gain for a few to the long-term good of all.”

MAPS is supported by luminaries including Dr. Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace and Yvo De Boer, Former Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. According to Dr. Goodall, it is “hugely important to establish the proposed Sanctuary,” while Mr. de Boer calls MAPS “the only sane choice for the critically vulnerable Arctic ecosystem, for the sake of our seas, our atmosphere and all life.”

Though African nations have contributed the least to the environmental and humanitarian crisis unfolding in our world today, they face some of the most severe effects. The 54 African nations have the opportunity to immediately change the game by creating critical mass on the MAPS Treaty, which has already been signed by Samoa and the Cook Islands. Former Seychelles president James Michel is a strong supporter of MAPS. He says, “The Arctic – no matter where we come from and where we live – is the common heritage of all humans. Its fate and future have serious consequences for all of us.”

Parvati.org, led by Director of Strategic Initiatives Darcy Belanger, will be on site in Nairobi to meet with government officials and secure MAPS Treaty signatures. The NGO Major Group is calling on all “governments to become signatories to the MAPS Treaty on an urgent basis to allow the effective entry into force by December 2019 of this vital protection for the Arctic Ocean, its ecosystems, and all life on Earth.”

Parvati says, “The Arctic Ocean plays a pivotal role in our lives. Its health and well-being are linked inextricably to our own. When the Arctic Ocean is under threat, all of life on the planet is at risk. MAPS must be declared immediately to protect not only the Arctic Ocean, but the world. I implore world leaders to carefully consider the consequences of not acting to protect the Arctic Ocean, and sign the MAPS Treaty now.”

Why Life Depends on a Ship-Free Arctic Ocean

Why Life Depends on a Ship-Free Arctic Ocean

14,000 tons per second. That’s how fast we’re losing our life support system.

For millions of years, the Arctic Ocean’s ice has given every being on Earth food, shelter and safety by stabilizing the global weather patterns that make it all possible. But in the past 50 years, 75% of it has melted away. The worldwide consequences are devastating, claiming hundreds of thousands of human lives every year in natural disasters, famines, disease and more as our world heats up. Losing this ice is not an Arctic problem. It is a global humanitarian crisis.

The voice of Nature, and that of compassion deep within every heart, are crying out for us to change our ways now and prevent unimaginable suffering in the years to come. Yet, we seem to live in a world where the roar of ship engines drowns out this call.

Russia is shipping more millions of tons of goods every year along the “Northern Sea Route” in the Arctic Ocean, and has pledged to increase this rate to 80 million tons a year by 2025. Worse, these goods are almost all fossil fuel products extracted from Arctic offshore operations. China, whose northernmost reaches are separated from the Arctic Ocean by over 2000km of Russian landmass, has declared itself a “near-Arctic” power and is setting up operations in Greenland for a “polar silk road”.

The simple truth is that these choices are not compatible with life.

Commercial shipping that takes advantage of the Arctic Ocean in its current state of emergency breaks up the fragile ice that remains to us. In addition, large ships use heavy fuel oil, whose emissions are high in particulate matter that darkens the ice and weakens its ability to reflect the sun’s heat away from the planet. If spilled, heavy fuel oil is impossible to clean up because it sticks to anything it touches.

From the perspective of whales, who are the great benefactors of Earth through their carbon-capturing “whale pump effect”, the world’s oceans are already a cacophonous din, with noise from ship traffic doubling every decade. The Arctic, by virtue of its ice, has been a place of relative quiet. We must not lose this last place of tranquility. Ship strikes are a leading cause of whale death in a time when their populations are already threatened. To keep the great whales—and ourselves—from becoming footnotes in history, we must rethink the frenzied need to connect goods for profit regardless of consequence, and reconnect instead with the reality that we are all in this together.

Trying to connect shipping routes through the critically sensitive Arctic Ocean is disconnected thinking. A planet that sustains life is the only bottom line that counts. Whatever seeming profit comes from Arctic shipping will ultimately dissolve just like the vanishing ice, leaving our world impoverished.

We have the choice today to listen: to scientists warning about the urgent and catastrophic state of the Arctic Ocean, to our own heart knowing that there is a better way. We can make a massive difference if we act now. But the ice is not waiting for us to realize we need it to survive. Every ship that smashes through its dwindling cover leaves us worse off. Please support the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary today and end shipping traffic in the Arctic Ocean for good.

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