On 4th of March 2015, one of my Arctic iceberg photographs was used by Greenpeace and independent meeting organiser QED (qed.eu) for EU Arctic Dialogue “Conserving the Arctic – A stronger role for Europe?” near Waterloo, outside Brussels, Belgium. The event was officially endorsed by the Finnish Foreign Ministry, and hosted by Mr Jean-Marie Delwart, one of the signatories of the International Declaration on the Future of the Arctic, in his Château d’Argenteuil, near Brussels. High-level guests (including European decision-makers, Ministers, business and civil society leaders and top-level signatories of the International Declaration on the Future of the Arctic) attended during an afternoon of speeches and conversations, followed by a cocktail and a dinner.
As I write, the dozens of delegates attending this years meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) should be sound asleep in their Hobart hotel rooms, if they’re not out tasting Tasmania’s finest wines in the the Salamanca neighbourhood.
Until the end of the month, the officials from 24 countries – plus the EU – will consider a range of issues, the most notorious of which is the long-delayed establishment of marine reserves in the Ross Sea and in the waters of East Antarctica. I can’t tell you what’s happening at the meeting so far, as CCAMLR meets behind closed doors. The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition is the only non-governmental organisation representing civil society at CCAMLR – but my colleagues in the room are prohibited from reporting on proceedings until they have formally ended. We will know if the news is good or bad by the end of October.