An environmentalist group is accusing Russia and Ukraine of blocking the creation of two marine life sanctuaries in Antarctic waters.
At talks in Hobart, Australia, delegates from 24 countries and the EU tried and failed to agree on plans to create the world’s largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica.
Antarctic waters are rich in energy and home to more than 10,000 unique species, as well as whales penguins and vast stocks of fish.
For the proposed sanctuaries to get the go-ahead, all two hundred delegates needed to give their approval.
Russia and Ukraine refused to back the plans and China withdrew its support.
“It seems pretty clear that a small group of countries led
by Russia wanted to wreck the agreement,” said Steve Campbell,
director of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance which campaigns for
protecting the Antarctic seas.
This is the third time over the past year that proposals for protected zones have failed to be agreed upon. There will be another attempt in October 2014.