Fellows in the News

A landmark multinational agreement protecting Antarctica’s Ross Sea offers valuable lessons for similar global conservation pacts in the future, according to a new analysis coauthored by a CU Boulder researcher.

The Ross Sea region Marine Protection Area, which was adopted by the international community in October 2016 after more than five years of negotiations, preserves vital biodiversity in the Southern Ocean and has been praised for being the world’s largest marine protected area.

The hard-won agreement among 24 member nations and the European Union comprising the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources which manages the Southern Ocean was not without challenges, says CU Boulder’s Cassandra Brooks, but does show that conservation of the global commons is possible.

“The Ross Sea is one of the healthiest and richest marine ecosystems on Earth,” said Brooks, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies. “Its protection is an environmental win and a gift to humanity, but achieving the protection of the Ross Sea was also a diplomatic win which demonstrated that despite political tensions, governments can come together to conserve the global commons.” 

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