MAPS: Supreme Court of Canada Quashes Seismic Testing in Canada’s Arctic

Canadian not-for-profit Parvati.org celebrates the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision to quash the 2014 permits issued by the National Energy Board for seismic blasting in ecologically-sensitive Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, off Clyde River. This decision is consistent with the Canadian government’s five-year moratorium on oil and gas activity in the Arctic Ocean announced last December by Prime Minister Trudeau. “This was the right decision for the Supreme Court of Canada to make,” says Parvati.org founder Parvati. “Seismic blasting, which harms and kills marine mammals, is senseless in any ocean, but especially in waters that are off-limits to oil and gas exploitation.”

Seismic blasting, the method of choice for oil companies to look for oil and gas reserves buried deep in the ocean floor, poses serious risks to any marine environment, especially one as vulnerable as the Arctic Ocean. It is a violent and traumatic event for whales and other marine animals, subjecting them to incredibly loud sounds, every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for months on end. Seismic blasting also threatens the way of life for coastal communities who for centuries have relied on subsistence hunting.  

Oil reserves under the Arctic Ocean seabed are unburnable under any scenario that limits global warming to “well below 2º C” as stipulated in the Paris Agreement. If Arctic oil is exploited, tons of carbon stand to be released into the global atmosphere, further accelerating the climatic warming that is already so disastrous for the planet.

The all-volunteer staff of Parvati.org is unanimous that the vulnerable, climate-regulating Arctic ecosystem must be protected immediately from all exploitation. Parvati.org is working to establish the entire ocean north of the Arctic Circle as the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS), a permanent international marine protected area. MAPS will prevent all drilling, fracking, seismic testing, commercial shipping and military activity in this delicate region. Parvati.org created the international Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) Treaty, translated it into the six official UN languages, sent it to all 193 UN member states, and took it to COP 21 and 22.

“The Supreme Court decision is a first step towards the real protection we need immediately for the vulnerable Arctic Ocean ecosystem,” says Parvati. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must follow up his commitment to protect the Arctic Ocean by signing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary Treaty, which will stop all seismic blasting and other forms of exploitation there for good. The melting Arctic ice, our global climate regulator that affects all living things, simply will not wait.”

Citizens of all nations are urged to sign and share the MAPS petition at https://parvati.org, and to call on their governments to ratify the MAPS Treaty immediately.

Parvati.orgParvati.org is a not-for-profit dedicated to a healthy world. Its first order of business is the realization of MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, and effective step to cool our planet and keep our oceans alive. 

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