James GRAY   Conservative MP for North Wiltshire

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Polar Regions (APPG for Polar Regions) was delighted to mark the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty in Parliament last week.

Speaking at the event, James Gray (North Wiltshire MP) who chairs the APPG for Polar Regions said:

“Twenty five years on, the Protocol, and the Antarctic Treaty System more generally, remain hugely important. What happens to the environment in Antarctica affects us all.”

Several high-profile speakers also emphasised the importance of protecting Antarctica for future generations.

Sir Alan Duncan, the UK’s Minister for Polar Regions emphasised the important leadership the UK has shown to encourage greater international efforts to protect Antarctica, most recently by being party to an agreement to create the world’s largest Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the only incumbent head of state to have visited both polar regions said:

“Protecting Antarctica and the Arctic is a matter of unprecedented urgency.”

Ben Fogle, representing WWF added:

“We must stand together to preserve what remains of our wilderness. Antarctica is the crown jewel.”

As part of the meeting, the APPG for Polar Regions also hosted the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative in Cambridge. The initiative brings together nine conservation organisations and the University of Cambridge to enhance efforts to conserve the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems, and to better understand the natural capital it represents.

Speaking for the CCI, Sir David Attenborough said he hoped the collaboration would help create a world “in which all life on earth can continue to survive and thrive.”