Support for designating East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

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Recently India has extended support to protect the environment of Antarctica and designate East Antarctica and Weddell Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

It is noteworthy that the designation of East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is necessary to regulate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

MPAs protect all or part of their natural resources. Be aware that certain activities within the MPA are limited or restricted to serve specific conservation, habitat protection, ecosystem monitoring or fisheries management purposes.

India has also urged the member countries of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to ensure that India remains engaged in the formulation, adaptation and implementation mechanisms of these MPAs in future.

CCAMLR is an international treaty. It aims to manage Antarctic fisheries to maintain species diversity and sustainability of the entire Antarctic marine ecosystem.

CCAMLR was established in the year 1982. India has been a permanent member of CCAMLR since 1986.

Other Government Initiatives:

  • In the year 1983, India had signed the Antarctic Treaty, 1959. It aims to demilitarize Antarctica and establish it as an area to be used for peaceful research activities. In addition, it also aims to resolve any disputes regarding territorial sovereignty. In this way international cooperation will be ensured.
  • The Indian Antarctic Bill aims to provide for the protection of the Antarctic environment and its dependent and associated ecosystems.

Source – The Hindu

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