The goat man of Croydon has become something of urban legend (but not myth, he really did exist; whatever happened to him?), and there really is a woman in the town centre who daily takes her macaw out for a “walk”.
But last weekend, for the first time, saw a “waddle” of penguins on Croydon’s streets.
Croydon Greenpeace toured the town centre in an effort to raise awareness of the need for the world’s largest protected area to be created in the Antarctic Ocean. Penguins have joined activists around the world, from Argentina to India, South Korea to South Africa, campaigning to protect their home.
Greenpeace want Croydon residents to call on the Government to do all they can to ensure that this vast, icy protected area becomes a reality, as part of efforts to help preserve, maintain and enhance the global environment.
The Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would be the largest protected area on earth, covering 1.8million sq km of ocean. It would be a safe haven for animals like penguins and whales, and put the waters off limits to the industrial fishing vessels sucking up the tiny shrimp-like krill on which Antarctic wildlife relies.
The Antarctic Ocean Commission (CCAMLR) will meet in October to decide whether the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary should be created. The British Government, as a member of the Commission, will have a crucial say in whether this ocean sanctuary becomes a reality.
“I think our government really has a chance to influence the commission in creating this Antarctic sanctuary in the Weddell Sea,” said Clive Farndon, a Greenpeace volunteer from Coulsdon.
“The oceans are so important in helping us mitigate climate change and environments and eco systems depend on a balance of wildlife which we won’t have if these industrial fishing companies hoover up all the krill to sell to us as food supplements for huge profits. It just doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I am here trying to make people aware that they can make a difference.”
Getting international political agreement to create the reserve will not be easy. Last year, the Commission failed to create a new sanctuary in the East Antarctic because of lobbying from the fishing industry.
“I hope that people in our community help us make history,” Farndon said. “Sign the Greenpeace petition and join people around the world to create the world’s largest protected area.”
More than 210,000 people have already signed the petition. Click here to add your support to the Greenpeace petition calling for an Antarctica sanctuary
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