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Public backs green groups on the creation of Arctic sanctuary



A poll commissioned by Greenpeace and conducted across 30 countries has found robust public support for the proposal to create a protected area in the Arctic region to preserve wildlife.

The survey, of more than 30,000 people, was led by the RIWI Corporation and found three in four (74%) supported the call for a sanctuary to be created in Arctic’s fragile environment. Argentina, Italy, India and South Africa showed the greatest support, at over 80%.

In the UK, 78% of surveyed people backed the proposal, which wants to establish “a network of marine protected areas and marine reserves in the Arctic Ocean”, only 1.5% of which is currently protected.

When asked whether the Arctic Ocean should be free from oil drilling and other types of heavy industry, 71% of the public said they agreed.

Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said, “Unfortunately our governments are massively failing in their responsibility to protect our environment and our climate for our children’s future.

“But today, our leaders have received a strong signal that the public appetite for action on the Arctic is overwhelming and must no longer be ignored. Our leaders now have both the mandate and the opportunity to act for the health of the climate and the Arctic. The world is watching and demanding action.”

The poll follows the launch of the Arctic Declaration by Greenpeace, a manifesto aimed at protecting the Arctic and its people from energy exploration and climate change. It has been signed by many influential people including archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sir Richard Branson, Emma Thompson, Sir Paul McCartney, George Monbiot, Jonathon Porritt, Zac Goldsmith and many other UK politicians.

Photo: NOAA Photo Library via flickr

Further reading:

Emma Thompson visits Arctic to deliver Australian PM a message about climate change

Ice loss in the Arctic linked to 16-foot waves

Greenpeace protestors occupy Arctic oil rigs

US unprepared for Arctic oil spill, study warns

Shell investors urged to take action on ‘high-risk’ Arctic drilling