Along with the high seas, the atmosphere and outer space, Antarctica is one of only four global commons. Here, in the world’s last great wilderness, the principles of peace, science and environmental protection reign supreme. Responsibility for protecting the rich waters surrounding the continent lies with the 27-member Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) – but progress has been very slow with CCAMLR rarely taking decisive and effective action to establish marine protected areas (MPAs). Meanwhile, the environmental situation in the Southern Ocean continues to deteriorate due to the climate crisis, threatening its precious wildlife.
Designating a network of large-scale MPAs around Antarctica would be the single most effective tool to conserve this vital part of the global ocean and build resilience of its marine life to the increasing impacts of climate change. We need to make it happen as soon as we possibly can. For several years, Communications INC have been working with a group of NGOs to bring this message to the world, and to engage with the political leaders who control the fate of the continent.
Approach and delivery
We head up campaign communications strategy development and deployment, crafting compelling messaging to resonate with both the general public and international decision-makers, and creating the networks and channels needed to bring it to a global audience.
This has involved a wide range of activities, including press releases, op-eds and blogs in media outlets all over the world, petitions, social media campaigns, events, paid-for advertising, scientific reports, and direct lobbying of key political decision-makers. By building partnerships with a diverse range of groups – from governments to top research institutes, from NGOs to celebrity supporters – we’ve created a network of channels to give the campaign maximum reach and resonance.
Our high-profile messaging – first tagged #CallOnCCAMLR and since expanded to #ProtectAntarctica – continues to generate global backing for marine protection in the Southern Ocean. It has received support from top political figures including John Kerry and Emmanuel Macron, and the EU, G7 and G20 have all called for action from CCAMLR.
Along with strong coverage in traditional media, both in quantity and quality, the #CallOnCCAMLR hashtag alone received some 1.4 million engagements on Twitter and Instagram; and we worked with Avaaz, Only One and others to bring together more than 1.5 million petition signatures from campaign supporters all over the world. In addition, our visible presence at global events has helped ensure that the need to protect the Southern Ocean remains high on the international ocean agenda. Examples of such events in 2022 include the One Ocean Summit in Brest, France: the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Berlin, Germany: and Our Ocean conference in Palau – to name a few.