- Title: 'It's personal' - Bardem picks up ocean activism in New York
- Date: 20th August 2019
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (FILE - FEBRUARY 20, 2018) (REUTERS) RIVER SPREE VARIOUS OF BARDEM AND GREENPEACE CREW ARRIVING ON DINGHY
- Embargoed: 3rd September 2019 17:38
- Keywords: Javier Bardem Greenpeace Save the Oceans Ocean Sanctuaries United Nations global warming
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / BERLIN, GERMANY / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / BERLIN, GERMANY / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: USA
- Topics: Celebrities,Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA002ASVWGUL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Spanish actor Javier Bardem said during an interview with Reuters in New York Monday (August 19) that his experience of travelling through the Antarctic has made the campaign on behalf of the world's oceans more "personal."
While in New York, Bardem also appeared in New York's Times Square to spread the message of oceans conservation as he called on world leaders to create a treaty to protect 30 percent of the world's oceans by 2030.
Backed by Bardem, the Greenpeace campaign, "Protect the Oceans," is already ten years in the making.
The world's nations need, Bardem said, to act "in an urgent manner," he told Reuters. "If not, the situation will be irreversible. Evidently, it's very catastrophic, but it's reality."
Backed by Bardem, a push is underway at the UN to make a legally-binding international agreement for the oceans, similar to the Paris climate accord.
The actor said his trips with Greenpeace to Antarctica have inspired him.
"I had the opportunity to go to the bottom of the sea and see the enormous diversity, color, the extraordinary life. And you don't expect that in such a frozen place on the planet. It provides a glimpse of how life reaches every little corner on the planet, and how important it is that it all lives on," he said. "That trip was important for me to understand that even in very remote places, plastic arrives. Coming from places like Europe. These are data points that are hard to comprehend, but when you see it, it affects in a much intimate manner. It's more personal. And so that's why I am here playing my small part."
In 2018, the Oscar-winner took part in an eight-day-long Arctic ship tour along scientists and campaigners in support of the Greenpeace "Protect the Antarctic" campaign.
During that visit Bardem had the chance to travel in a mini-submarine to the depth of 270 metres (885 feet) on the seafloor, an experience he said made him feel like he had travelled back to prehistoric times.
According to Greenpeace, the sanctuary is needed to put the area off limits to the krill fishing industry which is looking to expand into the area. Krill is a keystone species in the Antarctic ecosystem - most wildlife is either directly or indirectly dependent on it, including penguins, whales and seals.
The sanctuary would measure 1.8 million square kilometres (1.1 million square miles approx.), making it the largest protected area on earth, and provide a safe haven for marine life from industrial fishing. The area is the natural habitat of numerous whales, seals, penguins and many kinds of fish and marine life.
Oceans - which scientists say are less understood than the moon or Mars - cover more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface, yet less than 20 percent of their seafloor has been mapped or observed, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And what lies below the waves is worth trillions of dollars. This so-called "blue economy" of marine resources is expected to contribute $3 trillion to the world's GDP by 2030 - equivalent to the size of the UK economy - up from $1.5 trillion in 2010, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The U.N.-backed project, called Seabed 2030, is urging countries and companies to pool data to create a map of the entire ocean floor by 2030. The map will be freely available to all. The project, which launched in 2017, is expected to cost about $3 billion. It is a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation and GEBCO, a non-profit association of experts, which is already involved in charting the ocean floor.
The actor, who won an Oscar for "No Country for Old Men", was scheduled to speak at the United Nations on Monday afternoon at a conference on building the international legally-binding instrument to protect oceans.
(Production by: Dan Fastenberg and Andrew Hofstetter)
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