Ukraine joins the international initiative to preserve the cryosphere

Ukraine joins the international initiative to preserve the cryosphere

Ukraine supports the Paris Call on glaciers and poles and joins an important international initiative to preserve the cryosphere. This was stated by the director of the National Antarctic Scientific Center, Evgen Dykyi, during One Planet – Polar Summit, the first international summit dedicated to glaciers and poles.

At the initiative of and personal attendance of the President of France EmmanuelMacron the summit was held in Paris from 8 to 10 November 2023 to gather the international scientific community, politicians and non-governmental organizations to discuss common actions of humanity,

Such actions are now urgently needed, because according to scientists, ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, sea ice, glaciers on mountain tops and even permafrost are melting catastrophically. The rate of ice cover loss in Antarctica and the Arctic has increased 4 times over the past 30 years. As for mountain glaciers, their rate of ice loss is on average 20% higher than in the previous decade. And these negative trends continue. The destruction of the cryosphere on a global scale will lead to sea level rise and will affect every fifth inhabitant of the Planet, who will have to change their place of residence. It will also lead to the disappearance of many unique ecosystems.

“At the Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station we are already observing dramatic changes. If 10 years ago the water area around our island was covered with ice for about 9 months of the year, then this year, even during the Antarctic winter, stable ice cover did not form at all,” noted Evgen Dykyi.

He has also emphasized that despite the fact that now in Ukraine we are fighting every day for our existence, our freedom and at the same time for a world governed by international law, we still remember our responsibility not only for our country, but also for the entire Planet.

“Today is the 625th day of our war for independence, and on none of these days have we interrupted our measurements, observations and research at the Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station, since this is our contribution to the global world system of polar research and monitoring of the Earth”, – noted the NASC head.

According to the results of the summit, the “Paris appeal for the poles and glaciers” was signed. It includes, in particular, the following measures to preserve the cryosphere:

  • to ensure faster reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • to encourage States to join and support the full implementation of the United Nations Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). In particular we encourage States to work on the identification of high seas marine protected areas and the member States of the Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources to designate a representative system of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean;
  • to promote and seek to apply the highest sustainability standards regarding all activities having an impact on glaciers and sea ice, including tourism and the exploration and production of hydrocarbons and mining resources where allowed;
  • to develop a comprehensive and consistent framework for the regulation of tourism and other non-governmental activities with a view to minimizing its impacts, etc.

It is planned to monitor progress in the implementation of this document for another two years. ​

​It is important to note that Ukraine is already working on some of these measures. In particular, we currently chair the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and are actively initiating the creation of new marine protected areas in Antarctica.

You can watch Evgen Dykyi’s full speech in the video.

The text of the Paris Call is available here.