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    Report on attendance at the Sixth 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 Sixth Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP-VI) under the Madrid Protocol. The most important issues of relevance to SC-CAMLR are: (a) The CEP again addressed the issue of establishing “Specially Protected Species”. They recognized that the ATCM had agreed to “take early steps to seek the agreement of CCAMLR, CCAS, and where appropriate, other organizations, to establish co-operative working relationships (with those organizations) to seek a common approach as to how special protection for species in the marine environment could be achieved and how proposals under the Protocol for designating Specially Protected Species in the Antarctic marine environment could be addressed”. However, the CEP did not agree to procedures to be used and asked its Intersessional Contact Group (ICG) to consider the following sentence containing three options. ”Having regard to the provisions of Articles 4 and 5 of the Protocol, and Article 7 of this Annex, no native marine species shall be designated as a Specially Protected Species without [the prior approval of] [consultation and cooperation with] [,and if required, the prior approval of] the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, or the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals in the case of seals, or other organizations where appropriate”. (b) The CEP’s ICG on the State of the Antarctic Environment was asked to continue its work under agreed Terms of References. One of these is to: “Seek the advice of SCAR, CCAMLR, COMNAP and other expert bodies, as appropriate, in developing the pilot project, in particular in selecting indicators of human impact that would prove useful to the CEP in decision-making”. SUBSEQUENT TO THE CEP MEETING THE CONVENER OF THE ICG HAS SENT EMAILS SEEKING MEMBERSHIP IN THE ICG. I SUGGEST THE CHAIR OF THE CCAMLR SC BE TASKED WITH REPRESENTING THE SC IN THIS ICG. (c) On 24 May 2002, Annex V of the Environmental Protocol came into force. As a result all protected areas must be reviewed and revised management plans for each Specially Protected Area (SPA) completed. This year the CEP approved several plans and it was noted that two (ASPA Numbers 152 (Western Bransfield Strait) and 153 (Eastern Dallmann Bay, Antarctic Peninsula) were the first solely marine ASPAs designated under Annex V and that this was a significant and welcome development in the Antarctic protected area system. A third (ASPA Number 114 (North Coronation Island) which has a marine component was also approved. In addition, Italy proposed a new Antarctic ASPA in Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea, which had a marine component. Australia proposed a new ASPA for Frazier Islands, Wilkes Land, East Antarctica which was to include use of an administrative buffer zone outside of the ASPA to control air and ship movements towards the ASPA. After concern was expressed by Argentina, UK, and CCAMLR, Australia made a minor revision to the proposed management plan by removing the administrative proposal. (d) The CEP received two Working Papers concerning various aspects of Bioprospecting in Antarctica. One Member (Chile) noted the value of the precautionary ecosystem approach to issues raised by bioprospecting in Antarctic marine areas and recalled that CCAMLR encompassed all living organisms in the Southern Ocean. Several Members considered that the current environmental impact of bioprospecting in Antarctica was small. (e) Australia, which was the CEP Observer to CCAMLR XXI and SC-CAMLR XXI presented an information Paper which highlighted the main aspects of CCAMLR’s XXI meeting of the Scientific Committee. Dr. Tony Press was again elected by the CEP to serve as the CEP’s observer to the Scientific Committee.