Portoroz: While today the world was awaiting the decision of the International Whaling Commission on a way forward regarding Japan´s scientific whaling, delegates in Slovenia have just made environmental history by deciding on a highly unusual and groundbreaking proposal. They were asked to consider whales as essential contributors to a healthy marine ecosystem and climate.
As we mentioned yesterday, this is not a complete transcript but is intended to give a brief overview on the day's discussions. This is especially true today, when there was a break in the transmission from the meeting due to technical problems, so there may be gaps, for which we are sorry.
Agenda Item 10 Cetacean Habitat
10.1 State of Cetacean Environment (SOCER)
The Chair of the IWC Scientific Committee, Caterina, highlights elements of the Franciscana Action Plan.
At the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Slovenia, delegates are considering a highly unusual proposal. They will be asked to consider whales - not as food - but as essential contributors to a healthy marine eco-system.
This is not a full script, as whilst some comments are verbatim, others are paraphrased, but we endeavour to capture the essence of what was said.
The morning shift
So back to it, and the Chairman is asking for progress from drafting groups.
A plan to designate a vast swathe of the South Atlantic a whale sanctuary has not been approved after the proposal failed to get enough votes in favour at the current meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Under the IWC's voting rules, the proposal needed a three-quarters majority to be passed and despite a majority of countries voting positively it was not enough.
This is meant as a brief update on progress and hurdles this morning at IWC66 in Slovenia. We shall update when we get another gap between sessions.
IWC66/09 South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary
So Denmark has submitted its opening statement to the IWC and I guess the question is, have they learned their lesson since the last meeting? One reading of the statement would suggest that Denmark wants to ‘have their cake’, and, as the old saying goes, quite literally, ‘eat it’.
It seems that whilst Denmark has been doing its utmost within the EU to pander to its overseas territories in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, the Danish citizens of these two distant lands are not so grateful.