Skip to main content
Support
Event

WEBCAST: Protecting Antarctica in the Postponed "Super Year of Nature"

At this joint Wilson Center/Pew Charitable Trusts webinar, Lewis Pugh, an endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Ocean who pioneers swims in the most vulnerable ecosystems on the earth, and José María Figueres, former President of Costa Rica, will discuss the imperative of protecting these unique ocean habitats and a path forward for the three marine protected area proposals. 

Date & Time

Sep. 17, 2020
9:00am – 10:15am

WEBCAST: Protecting Antarctica in the Postponed "Super Year of Nature"

2020 was to be “The Year of Nature,” but now many of the meetings envisaged to push forward global action on climate change and biodiversity loss have been postponed until 2021. The need to act remains. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is still scheduled to take place in November, making Southern Ocean protection one of the few remaining opportunities for global conservation action in 2020. CCAMLR is currently considering proposals for three large-scale marine protected areas, that if designated together would protect nearly 4 million km2 of the Southern Ocean, and constitute one of the largest environmental protection events in history.

This is the second in a 2020 series of webinars around the theme of Southern Ocean marine protected areas cosponsored by the Wilson Center and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Webinars will be translated into Chinese and Russian, and will be made available as podcasts after the live stream.

Man swimming in between icebergs in the east Antarctic Ocean

Image of Lewis Pugh East Antarctic swim

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Selected Quotes from Lewis Pugh

  1. 6:58- 7:15 “I can assure you about one thing and that is that my determination to protect this part of the world is far stronger than the indifference of any political leaders. I will stand and I will fight for this place, whatever the cost.”
  2. 8:11-8:50 “I didn’t just sort of have a dream and go down to Antarctica and dive in, it’s been an awfully long journey. I did my high school in Cape Town and I think that school had perhaps the best view in the whole world, because I was being constantly told off by my teacher for looking out of the window because it looked right down onto a beach in front of the Atlantic ocean. And the person of my lefthand side became a professional sailor and the person on my right-hand side, Justin Strong, became the world champion surfer. So this was a school that produced people who had a passion for the oceans.”
  3. 10:42- 10:58 “I think all our futures will depend on protecting Antarctica. When you go down there and you see what’s happening, and when you go to the Arctic and you see what’s happening, I have no doubt whatsoever that we are now facing an existential threat to life on earth.” 
  4. 29:32 -29:50 “Now is the time for Antarctica to be set aside for peace, for science, but also for wildlife. When we go to Antarctica, we go as guests. This is not our home. There is something fundamentally wrong about us pushing animals literally to the edge of extinction.”
  5. 30:10-31:14 “We, today, can create the single largest protected area on this earth. And it’s very very exciting. Very few times does one have the opportunity to bend history, to change the trajectory in which we are going. Today is an opportunity for that moment.”
  6. 40:07- 40:25 “It’s astonishing. Because on the one hand, all of us have seen the signs and we realize we’ve gotta move fast. We’ve gotta move very very fast, we’re facing an existential threat to life on earth, we need to move fast. And yet on the other hand, you know, we’re not selling second hand cars. Diplomacy takes time.”

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

Image removed.

 


Hosted By

Polar Institute

Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders.  Read more

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge U.S.-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Event Feedback