Most of the Arctic’s federal waters are off limits to new drilling for oil and gas thanks to action protections put in place in 2016. But the Trump administration wants to reverse the ban and allow fossil fuel companies to begin bidding for a chance to drill.
On World Heritage Day, we’re highlighting some of the incredible sites that WWF is working to save. These sites belong to all of us, and together we can protect them for wildlife and people around the world.
Just one week after scientists warned of unprecedented change brought on by warming in the Arctic, President Obama announced permanent protection for 115 million acres of federal waters in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Including previous presidential withdrawals, today's action protects nearly 125 million acres in the offshore Arctic from future oil and gas activity.
America’s Arctic will be free of new offshore oil and gas drilling, at least for the next five years, and that’s good news for people and wildlife. WWF and 225,000 of our activists opposed drilling in the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chuckchi seas due to the tremendous risk to indigenous communities, wildlife, and their environment.
Officials in Belize agreed to suspend the seismic portion of offshore oil exploration after an outcry from concerned citizens, national civil society groups and international conservation organizations—including WWF—and their supporters.
The Arctic—home to diverse wildlife and many cultures—is changing faster than any other part of the planet in the face of climate change. But there’s still time left to help the Arctic and the impacts of climate change. Experts agreed on five important ways we can take action.
The coral reefs and coastal mangroves of Belize are necessary for both the wildlife that live there and the people who rely on it for income and protection. Help us save this threatened World Heritage site.
We now have the opportunity to keep offshore drilling out of the Arctic Ocean. Every five years, the US government draws up a five-year planning outlining where oil companies can drill. The Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas are on the line. We have a chance to persuade our government to remove these pristine places from their list.
The Obama Administration has cancelled the two potential Arctic offshore oil lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas that were threatening the future of this region. The newly cancelled leases were scheduled for 2016 and 2017 under the current five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program for 2012-2017, and the decision was made based on the poor “current market conditions and low industry interest.”
After years of searching for oil in the cold and turbulent waters of Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its plans to drill for the “foreseeable future.” This announcement is the conclusion of weeks of summer exploration, where results of drilling to a depth of 6,800 feet indicated oil and gas findings were “not sufficient to warrant further exploration.”
The US government has given approval to Royal Dutch Shell to conduct exploratory drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska. WWF has long opposed drilling in this region, which is crucial for wildlife, fisheries and local people.
WWF today called on the U.S. government to prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off of Alaska, and not to issue any new permits until companies demonstrate that they can drill safely in the region.
Five years later in the Gulf of Mexico and 26 years after the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, biologists are still recording lasting ecological impacts in these marine areas. Oil spills are impossible to contain in the marine environment, even under the best of conditions. Yet the US government has given Shell Oil Company a preliminary green light to push forward with offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
Today President Obama announced the protection of Bristol Bay, Alaska, from offshore oil and gas drilling. Bristol Bay is home to the last pristine salmon ecosystem in North America and stands unmatched in its productivity. Nearly 50 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon come from these waters.
For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been synonymous with diving, tourism and with Australia. But in June of this year, UNESCO threatened to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef to the World Heritage ‘In Danger’ list; a category populated predominantly by war-torn and developing nations. The final decision should be made in 2015.
New research mapping a range of oil spill scenarios in the Canadian Beaufort Sea finds that a spill would likely reach the U.S. shorelines of Alaska and could affect the local communities and wildlife living there.
News that Soco will stop exploring for oil in Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga, is a monumental win for conservation and for the people who depend on the park. Virunga is home to astounding biodiversity and rare wildlife, like critically endangered mountain gorillas.
One of the largest oil and gas development companies in the world, Total SA, has committed to keeping out of all natural World Heritage Sites around the globe, including Virunga National Park. But one company that is not respecting World Heritage status is Soco International PLC, which plans to continue to explore in Virunga - home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.