World Peace Park
Planet Earth - an Environment of Peace
"Antarctica represents the crossroads facing humanity.
If we can save Antarctica, we can save the world"
Sir Peter Scott
The 'Antarctica World Peace Park' initiative was launched from New Zealand in July 1989 in support of the international campaign to raise public awareness and conscience to the urgency of protecting Antarctica and surrounding seas from all forms of pollution and commercial exploitation. It suggests that: "through a complete and binding protection of Antarctica and surrounding seas this snow-white pristine continent, with no stable population, no sovereignty and as yet relatively untouched by human greed, can become the symbol of humanity's willingness to unite beyond all differences in the urgent task of creating together a new and better world, based on respect and caring for all living beings".
The proposal invites people, whether living in townships or countryside, to demonstrate their willingness to work toward the world becoming an environment of peace by contributing to the healing, restoration and protection of any polluted, spoiled or neglected area, however large or small, and proclaiming it a 'world peace park', with Antarctica as the unifying symbol. See the original flier.
At the launch a card was provided which could be filled out and signed, testifying to such a personal commitment. About three thousand signatures were returned.
Recently, at the International Launch of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence in Wellington, October 2009, OPTU's large Antarctica World Peace Park banner (designed and donated by Gerard Taylor) was displayed at a ceremony held at the Antarctica monument on Mount Victoria in Wellington. Here the call was made to declare both the North and South Poles as World Peace Parks, 'in order to ensure that they are not destroyed by conflict, militarism or environmental disasters'.
Among the speakers was Matt Robson, former NZ Minister for Disarmament; Alyn Ware, National World Peace March coordinator; Victoria Manno, actress/director and explorer from Argentina; a representative of the NZ Antarctic Society; and Kate Smith, representing OPTU, who concluded: "We also encourage people to declare their homes, work places and cities as Peace Parks."