05:27 GMT26 October 2020
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    Environmental activist Lewis Pugh claims that Russia plays a crucial role in protecting the Antarctic's vulnerable ecosystem.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia plays a crucial role in protecting the Antarctic's vulnerable ecosystem, endurance swimmer and environmental activist Lewis Pugh said Friday.

    Speaking at a news conference at Rossiya Segodnya information agency, Pugh said that over the past 30 years the oceans have changed under the influence of global warming and pollution.

    The Antarctic, one of the world's last intact ecosystems, is also under threat, Pugh said, adding that Russia as the chair of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) should assume responsibility to protect the area.

    Pugh, who is also a patron for the oceans for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said earlier this week that he would travel to Russia to discuss the creation of a maritime national park in the Antarctic with Russian government officials.

    In early March, Pugh completed the most southerly swim in the Antarctic Ocean, intended to draw support for the Ross Sea to become a marine protected area.

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    Lewis Pugh, Antarctic, Russia
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