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    Report on attendance at the Fifth Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection Under the Madrid Protocol

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    Chair of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee
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    This report outlines the participation of the SC-CAMLR Chair in the Fifth Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP-V) under the Madrid Protocol. The most important issues of relevance to SC-CAMLR are: (a) SCAR presented to the CEP two reports regarding marine acoustic technology and the Antarctic environment. SCAR concluded that there is no evidence of negative impacts on the Antarctic marine organisms from the appropriate use of acoustic technology equipment. However, Germany had reservations concerning SCAR’s reports. The CEP asked SCAR to bring forward a final report on the environmental impacts of acoustic technology at CEP VI. (b) Argentina and SCAR provided papers pertaining to the issue of specially protected species in Antarctica. The CEP agreed with the two paper’s conclusion that the IUCN Red List criteria should be used as the basis for the assessment of the status of species in Antarctica. SCAR offered to undertake, in conjunction with the IUCN, an assessment of the status of well documented species using the IUCN criteria, beginning with birds and seals. The CEP recognized the need for a dialogue with CCAMLR on how the category of specially protected species might be applied to marine species that under the purview of CCAMLR. (c) The CEP received a paper from the United Kingdom concerning biological prospecting in Antarctica. The CEP recognized that the subject is complex, and included legal and political issues. It agreed that these complexities and rapid developments in this field were strong reasons for the Antarctic community to be preemptive on the issue and that biological prospecting needed to be discussed during the next CEP meeting. (d) Four revised management plans for Specially Protected Areas (SPAs) which contained marine components were reviewed by the CEP. The CEP recognized that these must be approved by CCAMLR prior to being accepted by the ATCM. In addition, Italy introduced a paper proposing a new Antarctic SPA in Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea which also must be approved by CCAMLR. (e) Dr. Tony Press, CEP’s observer to the CCAMLR Scientific Committee presented a report highlighting the main aspects of the last meeting of CCAMLR’s Scientific Committee. Dr. Press was appointed CEP observer to this year’s Scientific Committee meeting. (f) Dr. Tony Press, Australia, was elected as the new chair of the CEP.