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Bardem: If 30 pct. of oceans not protected in 2030, damage to be irreversible

UN BARDEM (ADDS VIDEO) | 19 de agosto de 2019

By Alvaro Celorio

New York, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Spanish actor Javier Bardem on Monday defended the need for a world pact to protect the oceans, just as the third round of negotiations on the subject is kicking off at the United Nations, where he is participating as an ambassador for Greenpeace.

"The experts say that if by 2030, within 11 years, at least 30 percent of the world's oceans are not protected, the situation will be irreversible. This sounds very catastrophic and like a Hollywood disaster film, but it's true," the Oscar winner emphasized in an interview with EFE in New York before speaking to hundreds of delegates at the UN.

The actor has been a Greenpeace ambassador since last year, when in January 2018 he went to Antarctica with the organization, where he had the chance to see with his own eyes the deterioration that ocean waters are experiencing due to human activities.

"My presence here is that of a man who got on a Greenpeace boat without knowing anything and was a witness to the wonder that there (is) in Antarctica and its fragility. And the shame that microplastics from the things we use are found in those very remote waters," said the husband of Penelope Cruz, referring to all the trash and waste products generated by the developed countries.

These days, the third round of talks at the UN is under way with an eye toward formulating a Global Ocean Treaty to guarantee the protection of the world's seas.

"The machinery has been put into operation - and all these organizations and the people and experts - so that countries can make a treaty that was non-existent: a 'constitution' that will really protect the ocean, that will be a treaty that has to be followed strictly by all the countries in the world," he said.

In addition, to emphasize the relevance of the oceans in our daily lives, Bardem gave the example that one in every three breaths we take comes from the sea: "Whether we're in Manhattan, Madrid or in an overpopulated city. The third time we inhale, (the air) comes from the oceans, it's that important."

However, he said, "The ocean is the climate issue that is least discussed in top political circles."

That's why Bardem - who said that because of the education he received he has always wanted "to talk about things I feel are important" - boarded the Greenpeace boat, traveled to Antarctica and filmed a documentary titled "Sanctuary," a few minutes of which were shown to the UN delegates on Monday.

Now, he is using his influence as an outstanding international actor to bring pressure to bear on countries to protect the oceans.

"Without the political will to govern and set some limits, citizens feel lost. And one of those things is happening now, which is the treaty to protect the oceans. So that within 11, 12, 13, 14 years ... we can continue living in a blue world," he said.

Although some countries, like Spain, exhibit greater political willingness than others - and Bardem said that he's "very happy" about the actions of Madrid and others - there are some like the United States and its leader, Donald Trump, who the actor said are "deniers."

Regardless, the winner of an Oscar for "No Country for Old Men" said that the most important thing is to create strong public support, noting that "It's a question that affects us all ... It's important that public support, media support be strong ... so that (governments) understand that we're watching, that it's no joke, that this is something urgent."

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