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Libertad Ciudadana, A stride toward justice

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LC / TI
To go to the Spanish-language website of Transparency International in Panama, click here.

A stride toward justice

by Libertad Ciudadana (Panama’s chapter of Transparency International)

In this historic moment in the anti-corruption struggle through which the republic lives, the announcement made on August 1 by the nation’s attorney general, Kenia Porcell, that this past July 26 she signed an agreement for effective cooperation with the Odebrecht company, is a necessary step toward attaining justice.

With this agreement there begins the handover of information for which all of Panamanian society awaits. This will lead to effective investigations by the Public Ministry in the course of this inquiry into the conduct of three administrations, which cannot be put off.

From now on we insist that the Attorney General’s office maintain a flow of communication, which will generate an accompanying civic vigilance. We want to see not only fines and frozen money, if we are not to be witnesses to impunity in the end, by way of knowing the terms of the accord and evaluating its benefits for the country.

Taking into account that the administration of justice is composed of both the Public Ministry’s investigative phase and the trial phase before the courts, we demand that both institutions fulfill their roles, so that there are strictly legal trials of all those who were involved, so that the criminal schemes that were used are known and that the proper restitution is made.

In case information exists that includes officials with special immunities, we expect that this will be sent to the proper institution, whether it’s the National Assembly or the Supreme Court, that these will be resolved by persons uninvolved in the Odebrecht corruption scheme and free of conflicts of interest, and that all of those responsible account for their actions — whoever may fall!

 

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Pinkeye epidemic

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conjuctivitis
The editor, in the middle of a last week in July that was no fun.

Contagious

by Eric Jackson

I was. It is said that it’s the website owner’s fondest hope to go viral. Not this way.

But then, along the route to what I am doing now, I had occasion to work in a day care center and learned all about conjunctivitis, or more colloquially, pink eye.

There are various forms — reactions to environmental irritants, bacterial and viral. The viral stuff is what’s going around in Panama. It’s not deadly but it’s highly contagious. The Ministry of Health is calling it a “low intensity epidemic,” with more than 10,600 cases recorded, mostly in the Panama City – Colon – San Miguelito metro area. Surely there are many more unreported cases. One of those was mine — what was the point of seeing a health care professional about something annoying which can’t be treated and runs its course in a week or less?

Yes, there can be serious complications. If you go rubbing your itchy eyes — which will be bloodshot to pink in the whites and may have a discharge like the yellowish goo coming out of mine — you can aggravate the situation and cause permanent eye damage. If it gets well nigh intolerable, use a cold compress on your eyes.

The government doctors are urging people not to self-medicate. There is an outside chance that analgesics could cause complications — an elevated chance with some serious risk if you give aspirin to a child. And antibiotics for a viral infection? — don’t be a total fool! That will not affect the conjunctivitis but it may well make some other bug that you are carrying antibiotic resistant. Inappropriate use of antibiotics can kill you or someone else.

At the day care center we would send kids with pinkeye home, and it made parents furious. Oh, well. And on a bus from Penonome back to my home in rural Anton on this day, there was a schoolboy in his uniform, perhaps seven years old, rubbing his reddish and runny eyes. Whatever he touched will be contagious.

Limit your social, work and educational life when you have conjunctivitis. Keep washing your hands and avoid touching people. Don’t send a kid with conjunctivitis to school, nor let that child out to play with the neighbor kids while his or her eyes are inflamed.

 

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PRD: Varela, Venezuela y Estados Unidos

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prd
Comunicado acerca de la posición internacional asumida por el gobierno de Juan Carlos Varela en el caso de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela.

Comunicado del PRD

El Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) señala que el gobierno del presidente Juan Carlos Varela ha irrespetado la dignidad del país al rebajar a Panamá a la condición de apéndice sumiso de la política exterior de los Estados Unidos, al respaldar las sanciones impuestas por Estados Unidos a Venezuela y a funcionarios de ese país, de manera unilateral.

La administración del presidente Juan Carlos Varela ha cometido un atentado contra la personalidad internacional de la nación panameña al subordinar su política exterior a la de los Estados Unidos.

Es deplorable que el presidente Varela haya aceptado, sin rubor alguno, la recolonización de la política exterior del país.

Para el PRD es inadmisible que la administración del presidente Varela avale sanciones unilaterales contra Venezuela que son violatorias del derecho internacional. Resulta penoso que el gobierno de Panamá, país que sufrió en 1988 y 1989 sanciones injustas e ilegales que afectaron severamente la economía nacional y la calidad de vida de los ciudadanos, ahora apoye acciones semejantes contra Venezuela.

Es vergonzoso que el gobierno del presidente Juan Carlos Varela avale hoy contra Venezuela las acciones condenables que ayer se aplicaron contra Panamá.

Ahora, el gobierno del presidente Varela pretende erigirse en juez supranacional, cuando ni siquiera es capaz de resolver los problemas que aquejan a la población panameña y mucho menos enfrentar con eficacia las graves denuncias de corrupción de ésta y la pasada administración.

El creciente descontento ciudadano y la falta de credibilidad internacional de la administración del presidente Varela no se mitigarán plegándose a los designios de países extranjeros ni formando parte de alianzas injerencistas ni pretendiendo un triste protagonismo de conveniencia con respecto a Venezuela.

Con la posición asumida frente a Venezuela, el presidente Juan Carlos Varela ha hecho retroceder la política exterior de Panamá a las épocas más oscuras de entreguismo y ha desechado las mejores prácticas diplomáticas del país caracterizadas por la adhesión y aplicación de los principios de no intervención, respeto a la soberanía nacional y a la autodeterminación, el no uso de la fuerza y la solución de los conflictos por medio del diálogo y la negociación.

Demandamos que la administración del presidente Varela desarrolle una política exterior de autonomía e independencia basada en esos principios que le dieron credibilidad y respeto a Panamá en el ámbito internacional.

Todo esfuerzo exterior, tanto bilateral como multilateral y en los organismos internacionales, que honestamente y sin agendas ocultas desee contribuir a una solución a la problemática que vive Venezuela, debe basarse en el acatamiento del Derecho Internacional, en el respeto estricto a la soberanía de Venezuela y a su institucionalidad democrática, en el rechazo a la violencia, en el apoyo decidido al diálogo y la negociación como vías irremplazables para lograr una solución política duradera que restablezca la paz social y la convivencia en ese hermano país.

Secretaría de Relaciones Internacionales

Partido Revolucionario Democrático

31 de julio de 2017

 

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Editorials: Varela; and Trump

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lego

Investigate Varela

We have two men who would have been in a position to know who have made public statements that President Juan Carlos Varela took money from the corrupt Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht.

The first to say that had been Varela’s minister without portfolio, de facto leader of Varela’s Panameñista Party and for the first year and a half of this administration Varela’s right-hand man, attorney Ramón Fonseca Mora of Mossack Fonseca infamy.

The second to say that was Spanish-Brazilian attorney Rogelio Tacla Durán, whom Odebrecht hired as an outside counsel to set up a system of companies and bank accounts that would allow them to make corrupt cash payments without leaving any paper trail.

And what has the jailed former CEO of Odebrecht, Marcelo Odebrecht, said? About his company’s general modus operandi in the bribery game, he said that they would either pay off all sides in a country’s political system or they would pay nobody. There is strong documentary evidence and there are multiple witnesses that Ricardo Martinelli was paid handsomely by Odebrecht, so what does that say about Varela’s Panameñistas and the PRD?

Yes, innocent until proven guilty. Yes, nobody whose statements implicate the president is an admirable person whose honesty is beyond question. But the sophistries and pseudo-legal excuses about why Varela can’t and shouldn’t be investigated are annoying. The personal attacks on those who are demanding a proper investigation are sickening. From the Panameñista camp the creepiest of the screeds are coming from the same crew and assuming the same tone as the attacks on those who questioned their flagrantly corrupt hero of yesteryear, Bosco Vallarino.

Varela should agree to and cooperate with a full, honest and independent investigation of the allegations against him or he should resign.

 

 RAAAWK!

Contain Trump

Will The Donald be going the way of Mr. Flynn and Mr. Scaramucci in short order? Perhaps. It’s hard to see how he can go the distance at the pace he’s going. The replacement will be another set of serious problems if Trump goes. A Democratic Party led by people without many good ideas — to the extent that anyone can be said to lead the party at the moment — would not help matters if he goes right away.

Best for the opposition to dig in for a long struggle, in the course of which it is to be hoped that the factions will find their leaders and a common program will be agreed. Good ideas are actually being introduced as bills in Congress, but of course few of them have any chance of passing. Right now the name of the game is blocking bad ideas.

The United States is at war in too many places, hardly any of them where there is a credible end game in mind. The cost of the present course, which predates the Trump administration, may yet bankrupt the nation. It’s already letting other powers gain economic advantages. Major new wars, escalations of old ones, and geopolitical blunders are the most important avenues of action on which Donald Trump should be blocked. “Tough talk” and foreign policy goading by Democrats may well blow up in the nation’s face. We are dealing with a dangerously unstable man. We aren’t going to get any sober reasoning from Trump and this imposes on his opponents a duty to remain scrupulously level-headed. The demagoguery coming from the White House can’t be usefully countered by its mirror image from Democrats.

 

Bear in mind…

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
Ambrose Bierce

 

Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.
Jane Goodall

 

The leader’s good intention is not enough, what’s indispensable is the collective factor that the workers represent. The people of Mexico are no longer impressed by hollow phrases like freedom of conscience or economic freedom.
Lázaro Cárdenas

 

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Bernal, Sowing the winds

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basta ya
The forces are gathering again. There is a clear majority in Panama that condemns almost the entire political caste for taking bribes, but it is divided. The Panameñistas and others are busy attacking this faction or the other — mostly under pseudonyms — in an effort to keep the majority who want to see President Varela and others investigated divided into warring factions. Photo by Eric Jackson.

Sowing the wind

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

The worst part of the multiple cases of public corruption — which haven’t ceased to appear these past few years in Panama — is the absence of the will to investigate, prosecute and punish. The Odebrecht case is just the tip of the iceberg.

It is evidence of an attitude and behavior of complicity and cover-up on the part of the Public Ministry and of the competent authorities, who go beyond the social scourge that is corruption to its inseparable partner, impunity.

The absence of a determined civic reaction to contain the damage, to take corrective action and to regenerate a government that functions in the public interest serves as the fertilizer that nourishes the power brokers who control the state institutions. They think that they can continue to sow winds which are, however, bound to end in storms of violence. “The duty of statesmen, analysts and polemicists is to be attentive to the factors that can produce it and to suggest means to prevent the vortex before it sweeps away innocent people, as happened in Panama at the beginning of the 20th century,” Carlos Guevara Mann said recently, with great reason. (See: Julio Cruento – year 32 / July / 2017.)

It has been a long time since common good, the defense of the general interest and service to the citizens have been expelled from public life. We must act in unison to reintegrate these things, to really improve our social manners. Otherwise we will find ourselves without public institutions and, it must be said, without the human resources to be a society.

The transmutation of roles between “politicians” and “civil servants” has been generating institutional cross-dressing, the confusion of the roles of politicians and functionaries. That is, politicians who in practice are more concerned with performing civil service functions and functionaries who are more concerned with taking on the role and jurisdiction of politicians. In Panama this absurd role reversal has no name, but it’s deadly.

 

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¿Wappin? Voces en su mayoría femeninas / Mostly female voices

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Elena TonraElena Tonra, leader of the band Daughter. Photo by vonlohmann.

Mostly female voices / Voces en su mayoría femeninas

Janis Joplin – Summertime
https://youtu.be/P5ed5bz_5Sc

Aisha Davis – Trouble
https://youtu.be/gbzK2Ce57OM

Jefferson Airplane – Eskimo Blue Day
https://youtu.be/d7epbdQ4YYI

The Chamanas – Dulce Mal
https://youtu.be/n-SluhuT7xE

Valerie Wellington – Bad Avenue
https://youtu.be/xu79m18hUS4

Erika Ender – Cheque al Portador
https://youtu.be/0ZKs5WPq1xY

Leslie Gore – You Don’t Own Me
https://youtu.be/p1-Jr_JFI48

Zahara – Loliwe
https://youtu.be/RV22ISkVDWA

Zoé & Denise Gutiérrez – Luna
https://youtu.be/c1a3aI5VYQ4

Chrissie Hynde – Adding The Blue
https://youtu.be/9MewILDudQo

Chaka Khan – Through the Fire
https://youtu.be/ymuWb8xtCsc

Luci & The Soul Brokers – Quinoa
https://youtu.be/yBEaNY8cbyI

The Corrs – Buachaill On Eirne
https://youtu.be/fE2FQ6gC8bc

Sue Thompson – Paper Tiger
https://youtu.be/d58V6a1Cyco

Daughter – Down the Rabbit Hole 2016
https://youtu.be/rk6NNJJb1v8

 

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In re Martinelli — his petition to the US Supreme Court

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Martinelli vaina
The jailed former president’s habeas corpus petition to the US Supreme Court. (PDF)

To read this 40-page pleading, click here.

 

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Varela and others damaged by a political bombshell in Spain

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MP
The Public Ministry — Panama’s Attorney General and prosecutors — were accused of non-cooperation with Brazilian investigators in the Odebrecht scandal, allegedly at the behest of President Varela, who allegedly took bribes from that company. Here the Public Ministry responds by saying that it has asked Spanish prosecutors about what they know.

Former Odebrecht lawyer says that Varela, Martinelli and Mimito were bribed and that at Varela’s behest Panama’s prosecutors avoided Brazilian justice’s requests for help

by Eric Jackson

It’s big. It’s bad. And if Panamanian public institutions, politicians and judges are notoriously unmoved by such things, the president will be left without the public support he will need for his party to fare well in 2019 or for any of his political projects to prosper between now and then. But it’s not just Juan Carlos Varela who is affected by the allegations of former Odebrecht attorney Rodrigo Tacla, who is facing bribery and money laundering investigations in Brazil, Switzerland and Spain.

Out on bail in Spain, Tacla talked to what many consider the Spanish-speaking world’s newspaper of record, the Madrid daily El Pais. In that interview the Spanish-Brazilian dual citizen, who will face criminal charges in Spain instead fo being extradited, made some remarkable allegations. Had they come like a bolt out of the blue, without any previous indications, they might easily be dismissed as a pack of lies — which is more or less President Varela’s response.

Tacla said:

  • The Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht bribed more than 1,000 public officials around the world.
  • In Panama, Odebrecht paid bribes to President Juan Carlos Varela, former President Ricardo Martinelli, and Martinelli’s 2014 proxy presidential candidate, former Housing Minister José Domingo “Mimito” Arias.
  • Varela is close friends with Odebrecht’s erstwhile director in Panama, André Rabello, and did him many favors.
  • Among the favors done for Odebrecht by Varela was Panama’s scant cooperation with Brazilian authorities in their investigations of the Odebrecht scandal.
  • Among the favors showered by Odebrecht on Panamanian politicians were the services of Brazilian prostitutes at parties in Panama.

These allegations came less than a week after the Public Ministry had announced that although dozens of people were being investigated with respect to Odebrecht-related corruption here, on the names of those convicted of crimes — that is, in unprecedented secret corruption trials if there were to be any trials at all — would be revealed to the public. The Public Ministry, headed by Attorney General (Procuradora General) Kenia Porcell, is constitutionally supposed to be independent of the presidency, adding extra gravity to Tacla’s charge that her office dragged its feed in responding to Brazilian requests for judicial assistance at Varela’s behest. The complaint of non-cooperation was made by Brazilian authorities long ago and was not something shockingly new from Tacla.

Varela categorically denied having taken any bribes but otherwise declined to answer questions, saying that he is not under investigation and can not comment on a matter that is under investigation. Porcell’s office issued a statement that did not include any sort of forthright denial.

Will the small anti-corruption protests that have been ongoing for months now pick up momentum? The next test of that will be a gathering starting at the El Carmen Church on Via España on Tuesday afternoon.

Will the legislature act? Consider that ordinarily the person in immediate charge of that is Jorge Alberto Rosas, president of the Credentials Committee. He’s just off of a noteworthy performance in which he invented a new rule that complaints against high court magistrates are invalid if they are made by anyone who is affected by the complained-of actions. (But then of course, those unaffected would likely be held to lack standing to complain.) Rosas himself has been the subject of criticism for months because his law firm set up a mechanism by which Odebrecht could make cash payments to people without a paper trail, via a Panamanian subsidiary called Constructora del Sur. This past week other lawyers in that firm alleged that the legislator personally handled that Odebrecht account and was paid $2.3 million. Shortly before these words were written, Rosas said that he would recuse himself from consideration of any Odebrecht matter. However, at last count the Public Ministry was talking about 43 people under investigation with respect to Odebrecht, with that and long-standing rumors that other legislators would also be implicated. Thus it is unclear that a committee led by anyone else would act.

 

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The Panama News blog links, July 27, 2017

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The Panama News blog links

a Panama-centric selection of other people’s work
una selección Panamá-céntrica de las obras de otras personas

Canal, Maritime & Transportation / Canal, Marítima & Transporte

Splash 24/7, Panama Canal claws back Asia – US east coast calls

Reuters, European banks struggle to solve toxic shipping debt problem

The Street, Trump just commissioned a new $12.9 billion warship

Sports / Deportes

La Estrella, Panamá sufre una dolorosa eliminación

Narratively, Al Brown: the boxer who lost his title because he was gay

Economy / Economía

The National Law Review, Panama’s paid paternity leave law takes effect

La Estrella, Los préstamos bancarios caen un 8.3% durante el cuatrimestre

Daily Coffee News, Coffee sets $601 per pound record at Best of Panama auction

Gestión, Latinoamérica: Fusiones y adquisiciones aumentan 86.3%

El País, Uruguay: 15 años de crecimiento ininterrumpido

Iceland Review, Half a billion recovered due to Panama Papers

New Republic, Trump’s Russian laundromat

BBC, IMF downgrades UK and US growth forecasts

Chellaney, China’s weaponization of trade

Science & Technology / Ciencia & Tecnología

TVN, Censos revelan que la mayoría de los panameños están enfermos

BBC, Study says lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk

Mongabay, Tuna catch monitoring enters the electronic age

EFE, Científicos descubren un método para mejorar el cultivo de corvina

PR, Lockheed-Martin recycles cargo container into deep space habitat

NBC, Saving a spaceman from drowning

The Intercept, The Poison Papers

Human Rights Watch, Surgery on intersex children in the USA

Mongabay, Best techniques for road-kill mitigation

News / Noticias

Telemetro, MP no revelará imputados en caso Odebrecht

AFP, Crece en Panamá número de imputados por escándalo Odebrecht

La Estrella, Investigaciones de casos de corrupción sin resultados

Miami Herald, Two Samaritans in Panama help Cuban migrants

Telemetro, Magistrado Díaz pide discusión sobre matrimonio igualitario

La Estrella, Primarias de los partidos quedarán en el pasado político

Newsroom Panama, More delays for US bound travelers

Telemetro, Migración actualiza cifra — hay 79 mil 990 venezolanos en Panamá

BBC, Venezuela referendum: Big show of support for opposition

The Intercept, Carmen Aristegui slams Mexican government spying on her son

The Guardian, US anti-abortion group sends cash to support El Salvador’s ban

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, White House releases voters’ personal information

Slate, Coloradans cancel voter registrations over fraud commission fears

Opinion / Opiniones

Greenwald, Democrats and Bush-era neocons

Thrasher, The Democrats’ performance as an opposition party? Pathetic

Azzarkani, Don’t let corporations pick what websites you visit

Taibbi, What does “Russiagate” look like to Russians?

Pierce, Trump: it was always about the money

Ma, A life lived in truth

Fernandes, What’s left of the Bolivarian Revolution?

Burdge & Schroeder, State monopolization of information In Cuba

Martínez, El rumbo de Panamá

Sáez, Discurso político se ha reducido a clientelismo

Blades, Repuesta a las glosas de La Estrella

López, Reconstruir lo que quieren desconstruir

Stanziola, La marcha pro familia: cambio de piel — dos papás y un hijo

Sagel, Y mientras tanto…

Culture / Cultura

Borowitz, Mitch McConnell hospitalized with low white-vote count

Video, Ricky Mentirelli recibe la visita de Mayín

Reuters, Malaysia bans “Despacito” on state broadcaster for offensive lyrics

Telemetro, Erika Ender rechaza uso de “Despacito” por gobierno de Venezuela

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UN closer to high seas treaty negotiations

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high seas
The fourth and final meeting of a United Nations Preparatory Committee ended last week with a recommendation that the UN General Assembly convene treaty negotiations aimed at protecting the high seas. Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

UN moves a step closer to convening high seas treaty talks

by Mike Gaworecki — Mongabay (CC)
  • While the high seas can be said to belong to everyone, no one body or agency is tasked with their governance and there is no comprehensive management structure in place that is capable of protecting the marine life that relies on them.
  • The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2015 calling for a preparatory committee to explore the feasibility of an international treaty designed to protect high seas biodiversity and report back by the end of 2017.
  • Environmentalists applauded the outcome of last week’s meeting: “We are pleased that the UN Preparatory Committee has completed its mandate and agreed by consensus to recommendations that will move this issue to the next phase of high seas conservation,” said Liz Karan, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ campaign to protect ocean life on the high seas.

The so-called high seas comprise more than 40 percent of Earth’s surface and about two-thirds of the oceans. They are vast areas that lie 200 nautical miles or more from shore — in other words, beyond any national jurisdiction. That means that, while the high seas can be said to belong to everyone, no one body or agency is tasked with their governance and there is no comprehensive management structure in place that is capable of protecting the marine life that relies on them.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2015 calling for a preparatory committee to explore the feasibility of an international treaty designed to protect high seas biodiversity and report back by the end of 2017.

Environmentalists applauded the outcome of last week’s meeting: “We are pleased that the UN Preparatory Committee has completed its mandate and agreed by consensus to recommendations that will move this issue to the next phase of high seas conservation,” Liz Karan, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ campaign to protect ocean life on the high seas, said in a statement.

While the Preparatory Committee’s report includes substantive recommendations on elements to be included in any eventual high seas agreement, there are some crucial issues that still must be hammered out through international treaty negotiations, such as determining exactly how marine protected areas (MPAs) and marine reserves could be created and managed on the high seas.

A patchwork of governance and management mechanisms regulate human activities like fishing, seabed mining, and shipping on the high seas, but there is little coordination between them, which has left marine ecosystems in the open ocean highly vulnerable. While protected areas cover 13.2 percent of marine environments in countries’ territorial waters, just 0.25 percent of marine environments beyond national jurisdiction are afforded some kind of protected status, according to the UN.

There would seem to be momentum building towards a treaty to address the lack of protections for marine environments in the open ocean. In addition to the recommendation made by the UN Preparatory Committee, world leaders meeting at the first-ever UN Ocean Conference in New York City last month issued a call for action to “affirm our strong commitment to conserve and sustainably use our oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

The purpose of the UN Ocean Conference was for governmental representatives to come together and strategize around the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14, which aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.” Delegates to the conference specifically mentioned MPAs in their call to action as management tools that can “enhance ocean resilience and better conserve and sustainably use marine biodiversity.”

The impacts of climate change on both the open ocean and coastal areas is of particular concern. But, according to Pew’s Karan, even the countries that affirmed their support of Sustainable Development Goal 14 are unlikely to be able to meet their sustainability goals without an overarching governance framework for the high seas.

“The ocean doesn’t respect political boundaries,” Karan told Mongabay. “What’s happening within countries’ national waters affects what happens on the high seas and will be affected by what happens on the high seas. Making sure that there’s proper governance on the high seas will allow for the establishment of marine protected areas, and ensure that robust environmental impact assessments are being conducted for any activities on the high seas. That will ultimately help benefit countries’ national waters and enable them to meet the sustainable development goals.”

Research has shown that marine protected areas and reserves could play a crucial role in ocean conservation efforts in an era of rising global temperatures. An international team of researchers published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS) earlier this year, for instance, that concluded that “well-managed marine reserves may help marine ecosystems and people adapt to five prominent impacts of climate change: acidification, sea-level rise, intensification of storms, shifts in species distribution, and decreased productivity and oxygen availability, as well as their cumulative effects.”

The authors of the PNAS study add that “marine reserves are a viable low-tech, cost-effective adaptation strategy that would yield multiple cobenefits from local to global scales, improving the outlook for the environment and people into the future.”

It’s important to note that, while the Preparatory Committee recommended that high seas treaty negotiations be convened, the responsibility for actually launching an intergovernmental conference to hold those negotiations ultimately lies with the UN General Assembly.

Karan called for the General Assembly to move the process along quickly: “After two years of meetings, the General Assembly must now decide to launch formal diplomatic negotiations as soon as possible so that countries can work towards finalizing a treaty that would protect the high seas starting in 2018.”

CITATION

  • Roberts, C. M., O’Leary, B. C., McCauley, D. J., Cury, P. M., Duarte, C. M., Lubchenco, J., … & Worm, B. (2017). Marine reserves can mitigate and promote adaptation to climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(24), 6167-6175. doi:10.1073/pnas.1701262114

 

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