9 Mar 2020 - António Guterres, UN Secretary-General - Our oceans are under assult. We need science-based, innovative solutions to save our ocean and the future of our plant.
With the ocean in deep crisis, members of civil society and philanthropic organisations are urging governments and corporations to take bold action to safeguard the ocean. After a two-day preparatory meeting in New York in February ahead of June’s UN Ocean Conference in Portugal, activists handed over what they termed “A Blue Call to Action” to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Multiple stressors are eroding the ocean’s ability to function as the planet’s life support system, and so defending its capacity to produce oxygen, sequester carbon and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people is vital, delegates heard.
With that in mind, in May last year, the Oceano Azul Foundation partnered with Ocean Unite and Oak Foundation to bring together representatives of fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, ocean conservation organizations and foundations, to agree on common priorities and solutions needed to tackle the ocean crisis and raise the level of ambition for action.
Gathering ministers and representatives from civil society organizations, the business community, intergovernmental and United Nations agencies, the preparatory meeting of the UN Ocean Conference took place in New York this week, defining key areas of ocean action, and aiming to drive governments and other key decision-makers to deliver on their commitments.
During the preparatory meeting, co-chaired by the Governments of Palau and Denmark, Tiago Pitta e Cunha, CEO of Oceano Azul Foundation, said that “the decisions needed to address the ocean crisis had been delayed for too long” similar to action on climate change.
Highlighting the need to agree on concrete actions, he added that “now is the time to push tirelessly for such actions”.
The Ocean Conference, taking place in Lisbon from 2 to 6 June, aims to propel science-based innovative solutions in the form of global ocean action.
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