Our mission

Protect more than 7 million km2 of the Southern Ocean by 2020

Video: Emperor Penguins Antarctica

Meet the group

Antarctica2020 is a group of influencers from the world of sport, politics, business, media and science, that are building support for the protection of more than 7 million km2 of the Southern Ocean by 2020, through the establishment of a network of large-scale marine protected areas in the region.

Antarctica contains about 90% of the world’s ice and around 70% of the planet’s fresh water; both are vulnerable to warming air and waters. Antarctic sea ice is melting faster than ever (tripling in the past 5 years) as a result of global warming.

Changes in sea-ice coverage are affecting the marine ecosystem in profound ways, including the dramatic decline of Antarctic krill, a keystone species in the Antarctic food web. In addition to the impacts of climate change, increased pressure from industrial fishing are adding environmental pressures, making it harder for predators to find food.

The latest science is telling us that to regenerate Ocean life and build the resilience of its ecosystems and species to climate change we need to create marine protected areas covering at least 30% of the Ocean by 2030.

We need to act fast to realise a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the continent by 2020 to protect this unique, and important place.

Marine protected areas provide protection for ecosystems and key marine wildlife. They build ecosystem resilience and mitigate climate change impacts by removing stressors- such as fishing. They also provide important scientific reference areas to facilitate monitoring the impacts of fisheries and climate change on polar regions.

The protection of the Southern Ocean is a defining issue for our time, and it can help bring countries together.Protecting large Antarctic marine areas will boost Ocean protection by an order of magnitude greater than anything achieved before. We have a once-in-a-generation chance to do things differently.

Top: Antarctic ice landscape

Bottom: Patagonia sea lion
Photo credit: Kelvin Trautman

Above: Adélie Penguin on an iceberg.
Photo credit: Kelvin Trautman

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