A motion to calling for the creation of a marine peace park and sanctuary in the South China Sea was filed on Sunday at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. The motion was filed by Mr. Joseph Moravec of the Center for Environmental Legal Studies in New York with 11 co-sponsors, including the Ecological Society of the Philippines, the Sierra Club, and other organizations from Australia, Bangladesh, Lebanon, and Pakistan, among others.
The South China Sea, namely the Spratly Islands and the Coral Triangle, contain some of the most biodiverse marine resources in the world, but sit within territorial waters disputed between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China. The international Permanent Court of Arbitration found that there has been significant environmental degradation occurring in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea. Experts suggest that the region replenishes the biodiversity and marine life in the Pacific ocean and continued degradation will impact all the oceans of the world.
Antonio Claparols, President of the Ecological Society of the Philippines said, “the creation of a marine peace park and sanctuary is the ideal solution to the hotbed that the South China Sea has become, and is the peaceful solution for all countries claiming the territory.” The final outcome of the motion is uncertain, but presently the motion is being considered by the IUCN, which may put to motion before the full plenary session as early as September 6 in Honolulu.
IUCN is based in Switzerland and is the oldest and largest international conservation organization in the world. IUCN maintains observer status at the United Nations.
The World Conservation Congress, ongoing at the Honolulu Convention center in Hawaii, is held every 4 years and brings together more than 7,000 delegates from more than 1,000 organizations around the world to promote conservation and negotiate solutions to environmental concerns.