WWF: Climate and Conservation Action Needed from Arctic Political Meeting
“In visiting the US Arctic, President Obama is clearly demonstrating that the United States is an Arctic nation with a stake in the region’s future. This trip provides the President the perfect opportunity to define his vision of how all nations should work in unison to manage and conserve our shared Arctic resources,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of US Arctic programs.
That vision is particularly important over the next two years as the US chairs the eight-nation Arctic Council. “The GLACIER summit can set the stage for the types of comprehensive agreements the US can foster through the Arctic Council. We need action to permanently protect the most biologically diverse and ecologically significant parts of the Arctic ecosystem and to ensure that emerging fisheries are responsibly managed. We need coordinated international efforts to manage shipping routes and to prevent increasing marine traffic from interfering with key wildlife migration corridors. And, we must ensure that local communities can sustainably access the ocean’s bounty for generations to come, while preparing for the even greater climate-driven changes coming their way.” Said Williams.
All of the senior political figures visiting will be able to experience the devastating impacts of climate change on the Arctic. Those include vanishing sea ice, wilderness areas burnt to the ground by wildfire, and whole communities slipping into rising seas.
“We hope the political representatives keep what they have seen in mind as their countries prepare their positions for this winter’s climate meeting in Paris,” said Williams.