At the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) currently meeting in Hobart, Australia, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance are appealing for nations to ensure the future of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.
This week, representatives from 25 governments are gathering in Hobart to address three proposed marine protected areas, amounting to more than five million square kilometres of Antarctic waters.
Mike Walker, Project Director of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance said there is growing global momentum for the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs), evidenced by President Obama’s August decision to expand the Papahānaumokuākea marine national monument near Hawaii to become the world’s largest protected area.
Scientists estimate that Antarctic and Southern Ocean currents drive life-sustaining nutrients, including krill, for three-quarters of Earth’s marine life.
“The time for action to safeguard the Antarctic’s waters, the engine room of the ocean, is now. Commitments for almost four million square kilometres of MPAs have been made in the past weeks. This is a clear indication to all the parties participating in the meeting in Hobart that there is a growing momentum for greater ocean conservation, and Antarctic’s oceans and marine life should be next,” Mike Walker said.
The time for action to safeguard the Antarctic’s waters, the engine room of the ocean, is now.
Andrea Kavanagh, director of Antarctic and Southern Ocean work at The Pew Charitable Trusts, added:
“This year’s global meeting could result in the largest-ever protection of the high seas, and Russia is the key to reaching this goal.”
“As the chair of CCAMLR, Russia is approaching this year’s negotiations positively.”
Russia has designated 2017 as the Year of Ecology and significantly increased the size of the MPA around Franz Josef Land in the Arctic. This move signals hope that Russia, the current chair of CCAMLR, will join with other nations in supporting protection of the Ross Sea, East Antarctic, and Weddell Sea.
“At the World Conservation Congress in September, 129 countries from around the world agreed to protect 30 percent of the ocean by 2030. To meet this goal, countries will need to expand conservation action beyond their territorial waters and support protected areas on the high seas, starting with the Southern Ocean,” said Ms. Kavanagh.
Oceanographer, marine biologist and founder of Mission Blue, Dr. Sylvia Earle said:
“Fifty years ago we thought that the ocean was too big to fail. The authority to kill on a large scale in waters that belong to everyone—places like Antarctica’s unique Southern Ocean—destroys something of critical value to the way the world works. Penguins are starving. Climate change is accelerating. We know too much to continue down this path. We must expand regulations already in place on land out into the ocean—to Hope Spots like the Ross Sea. Now is the time to act.”
Mr. Walker warned that further delays in designating new MPAs would reduce the resilience of the oceans to the impacts of climate change. “It has been clearly established that fully protecting large parts of the ocean is critical to mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Walker. “CCAMLR members have an historic opportunity to designate marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, any further delay would negatively impact the health of the Antarctic’s waters and the life they support.”
In 2009, CCAMLR members committed to creating a network of large marine reserves. They have deliberated over the Ross Sea and East Antarctic proposals for the past four years but have been unable to reach consensus. In September, the European Union submitted an entirely new proposal to CCAMLR to protect 1.8 million square kilometres of the Weddell Sea.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .