Groups of people wearing penguin papercraft masks have been popping up all around the world, as thousands of people join the call for the creation of the largest protected area on Earth: a 1.8 million square kilometre ocean sanctuary in the Antarctic.
Huddles of penguins have appeared from London to Luxembourg, Hong Kong to Helsinki, Tokyo to Turkey, dancing, skating, leaping, racing and turning heads towards the new Greenpeace campaign for a safe haven for penguins, whales and seals in the Antarctic.
As well as 80 penguins doing a tap dance number in central London waddles of penguins have popped up all across the UK from Edinburgh to Eastbourne, Belfast to Bromley, Swansea to Scarborough.
This ‘rise of the penguins’ comes after the ‘march of the penguins’ last week, which saw striking geometric models of solitary emperor penguins appear in iconic locations in 14 cities across Argentina, Australia, Germany, India, Norway, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.
While creative penguins waddle all around the planet, the Greenpeace ship ‘Arctic Sunrise’ is in Antarctic waters for a 3 month scientific expedition. Independent scientists, world-class photographers and videographers will document the fragility of the Antarctic ocean, to prove the urgent need to protect it.
Greenpeace is campaigning for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary covering 1.8 million square kilometres in the Weddell Sea. The benefits of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would be global. Healthy oceans sustain precious wildlife, help limit climate change and provide food security for billions of people.
The Antarctic Ocean Commission (CCAMLR – an international body which includes the UK Government) will meet in October 2018 to decide whether to create this Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. The UK Government, as a member of the Antarctic Ocean Commission, will have a crucial say in whether this ocean sanctuary becomes a reality.
Louisa Casson, Antarctic campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “We’ve been asking people to pop on a penguin mask and take creative photos to show the surging global support for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. When governments meet in October, they have an opportunity to create the largest protected area on Earth. If we make enough noise and urge politicians to seize this historic opportunity, we can make that happen. Half a million people around the world have already signed our petition and we’ll be making sure our voices get even louder in the lead up to the meeting in October.”