New Zealand leading Antarctic Environmental Committee

Ceisha Poirot CEP acceptance speech
4 June 2024

New Zealand is leading the conversation in Antarctic environmental protection, with the appointment of Antarctica New Zealand’s GM Policy, Environment and Safety as the new Chair of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP).

Ceisha Poirot, was elected by the international Committee at its annual meeting, which was held over the last fortnight in India. She brings a wealth of expertise and dedication to this critical role and says she was honoured to accept.

“Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are at a crossroads. As the climate continues to warm and human activity in this remote wilderness increases, urgent protection is needed to secure a safe future for Antarctica and its remarkable ecosystems,” she said.

Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive, Sarah Williamson, says this prestigious appointment reflects Ceisha’s exceptional leadership and dedication to Antarctica.

“Antarctica New Zealand remains committed to leading by example in environmental protection and sustainability. We are confident that Ceisha's leadership will make a lasting impact,” she said.

The CEP was established in 1991 when the Protocol on Environmental Protection was agreed. The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Parties of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings on conservation of flora and fauna, environmental impacts and responding to environmental impacts of climate change in the Antarctic region. These recommendations contribute to the overarching goal of preserving Antarctica’s environment as a natural reserve, devoted to peach and science, for future generations.

Ms Poirot’s leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship will be instrumental in maintaining the delicate balance of Antarctica’s ecosystems and ensuring responsible human activities on the continent.

Round of applause
Ceisha Poirot receives a round of applause after being appointed the Chair of the Committee for Environmental Protection at its annual meeting in India. Photo: Natasha Gardiner