Discussions emerge weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping committed himself to the leadership role in biodiversity at the United Nations. Environmentalists hope Beijing will support the largest conservation zone agreement in history to protect the Southern Ocean
China will have a chance this week to fulfill its commitment to becoming a leader in ecological leadership, with three new marine protected areas in Antarctica under debate that, if successful, would be the biggest environmental protection event in history.
The Chinese have opposed at least one of the proposals for deliberation by the Antarctic Marine Living Resources Conservation Commission (CCAMLR) in the past nine years, but environmentalists expect a turnaround in light of a series of promises by Xi Jinping during the conference UN Biodiversity Report earlier this month.
CCAMLR is part of the Antarctic treaty system that manages conservation in the region and has 25 members, including the United States, Britain, China and Russia. The proposed protected areas – East Antarctica, Weddell Sea and Antarctic Peninsula – cover almost four million square kilometers of the Southern Ocean.
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