India to Co-sponsor Marine Protected Areas


India has extended support for protecting the Antarctic environment and for co-sponsoring the proposal of the European Union for designating East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at a high-level ministerial meeting conducted on 30 September 2021.

  • The two proposed MPAs are essential to regulate illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.
  • India urged the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) member countries to ensure that India remains associated with the formulation, adaptation and implementation mechanisms of these MPAs in future.
  • This is the first time India is considering co-sponsoring an MPA proposal at the CCAMLR and getting aligned with countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA, which are also proactively considering supporting the MPA proposals.
  • India's decision to consider extending support and co-sponsoring the MPA proposals is driven by conservation and sustainable utilization principles and adhering to the global cooperation frameworks (such as Sustainable Development Goals, UN Decade of Oceans, Convention on Biodiversity, etc.) to which India is a signatory.

CCAMLR

  • CCAMLR is an international treaty to manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the entire Antarctic marine ecosystem. CCAMLR came into force in April 1982. India has been a permanent member of the CCAMLR since 1986. Work pertaining to the CCAMLR is coordinated in India by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its attached office, the Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE) in Kochi, Kerala.

MPA

  • An MPA is a marine protected area that provides protection for all or part of its natural resources. Certain activities within an MPA are limited or prohibited to meet specific conservation, habitat protection, ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries management objectives.