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The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning to screen in Copenhagen during the United Nations Climate Change Conference

Toronto, 18 August 2009 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is partnering with Canada's Polar Cap Production's, Inc. to present Mark Terry's new climate change documentary The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning in Copenhagen during this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, December 7 to 18, 2009.

The partnership is part of the United Nations "Seal the Deal" campaign, a call to action to clinch an ambitious and effective agreement on climate change.

Screenings will take place at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, at UNEP's exhibition and plans are underway to screen the film's trailer on a giant video screen in the centre of Copenhagen, and on the "Climate Express" train commuting delegates between Brussels and Copenhagen.

The conference is expected to be attended by nearly 190 ministers and leaders and more than 11,000 participants worldwide.

"Of all the canaries in the climate coal mine, the polar regions and the mountain glaciers are singing the hardest and the loudest," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. "Mark Terry's new climate change documentary The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning underlines these realities with some of the latest and increasingly sobering scientific findings, providing further stark evidence as to why governments need to Seal the Deal in Copenhagen."

The documentary focuses on new discoveries made related to the ozone hole, the diminishing populations of penguins and other marine life, the greening of the world's largest desert, warming temperatures, glacial melting and increased world sea level.

"We were all stunned at the findings being made there this past year," said writer/director Mark Terry. "From penguin suicide to grass growing in the world's largest desert, the environmental face of Antarctica is changing faster than anyone had previously thought - and the impact on us is imminent."

For Further Information:

Mark Terry, on Tel: 416-480-1996, Mobile: 416-899-5855, or email: mark@polarcapproductions.com


Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson and Head of Media, on Tel: +254 20 7623084, Mobile: +254 733 632755, or when traveling: +41 795965737, or e-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org

Photos and Video Available Upon Request

Notes to Editors:

Mark Terry (Producer, Writer, Director):

Documentary filmmaker Mark Terry has been producing award-winning films in Canada for more than 20 years. A Member International of The Explorers Club, Mark has travelled the world for his films, achieving the rare feat of setting foot on all seven continents.

Mark's projects include the documentary features Earth's Natural Wonders and Mysteries of Sacred Sites that profiled such exotic destinations as the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Stonehenge, the Amazon, Angel Falls, Machu Picchu and the Kenai Fjords in Alaska.

Mark also produced and directed the documentary feature We Stand On Guard which chronicled the first 100 years of Canadian military service and saw Mark serve with the Royal Canadian Regiment in war-torn Kosovo.

Mark has traveled to the Painted Desert in Australia, the Sahara Desert in Egypt, Ecuador and Venezuela in South America, Hong Kong, Kowloon, Lantau Island and Macau in Asia and throughout Europe, North America and the Caribbean.

The mountain ranges Mark has climbed include the Rockies (Canada and the US), the Andes (Ecuador), the Alps (Italy and Switzerland), the Carpathian Mountains (Romania) and the Sar Mountains (The Balkans).

But of all the destinations Mark has visited in the world, he is most fascinated by the polar regions. Having traveled to the Arctic here in North America several times, Mark has now completed a documentary on Antarctica focusing on studies made there during International Polar Years (March 2007 to March 2009).

In addition to belonging to the professional organizations The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, the Documentary Organization of Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists, Mark is also a member of the environmental organizations

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Canadian Council for Geographic

Education, Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation, Nature Ontario and the University of Alberta Northern Research Network.

Polar Cap Productions, Inc.:

Polar Cap Productions, Inc. (PCP) is a new film and television production company with a mandate to tell entertaining and educational stories about our environment and, in particular, our fragile polar ice caps: the Arctic and the Antarctic.

March 2007 to March 2009 is International Polar Year (IPY), a large scientific program focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic. IPY, organized through the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is actually the fourth polar year, following those in 1882-3, 1932-3, and 1957-8. In order to have full and equal coverage of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, IPY 2007-8 covers two full annual cycles from March 2007 to March 2009 and will involve more than 200 projects, with thousands of scientists from more than 60 nations examining a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. It is also an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow, and get involved with, cutting-edge science in real-time.

PCP has produced a special HD documentary on Antarctica reporting on some of the unique programs being carried out there. Through its film productions and website, Polar Cap Productions hopes to contribute to the goals of International Polar Year now and for a long time to come.

Polar Cap Productions, Inc.: www.polarcapproductions.com

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

In 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted as the basis for a global response to the problem.

With 192 Parties, the Convention enjoys near-universal membership.

The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. The Convention is complemented by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which has 184 Parties.

Under this treaty, 37 industrialised countries and the European Community have

committed to reducing their emissions by an average of five per cent by 2012 against 1990 levels. Industrialized countries must first and foremost take domestic action against climate change. But the Protocol also allows them to meet their emission reduction commitments abroad through so-called "market-based mechanisms".

For example, one of the Protocol's market-based mechanisms, the clean development mechanism (CDM), permits industrialized countries to earn emission credits through investment in sustainable development projects that reduce emissions in developing countries.

The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol are also designed to assist countries in adapting to the inevitable effects of climate change. They facilitate the development of techniques that can help increase resilience to climate change impacts - for example, the development of salt-resistant crops - and to exchange best practices with regard to adaptation.

For more information, you may also wish to refer to the Fact sheets on The Kyoto Protocol, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP/CMP). United Nations: http://unfccc.int/2860.php

Film crew shooting in Antarctica



Further Resources

UNEP: Climate Change

UNEP/GRID-Arendal Polar Programme

The Antarctica Challenge

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)


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