Ocean Action Hub

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How to choose, cook and eat fish sustainably - Chef Andrew Zimmern

13 Mar 2019 - Make sure wherever you buy fish you ask the seller where it's is from and who caught it. If they don’t know, tell them: retailers need to know their sources.

13 Mar 2019 - Chef Andrew Zimmern: This year, World Wildlife Day is raising the alarm on marine biodiversity loss. That’s a BIG problem, and I know many of you are thinking someone else will fix this, or saying to yourself “this isn’t real,” or even worse, “I know it’s happening, but I can’t possibly make a difference.” You CAN! And I will get to that shortly.

Life below water has sustained human civilization for, well, forever. Today our oceans provide food, nourishment, and livelihoods for over three billion people. They absorb 30 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and fully 90 percent of the heat from climate change. Most importantly, oceans produce 50 percent of the oxygen on our planet — in other words, for every second breath we take.

Our planet’s oceans and its species face growing threats, including climate change, marine pollution, habitat destruction, and unsustainable fishing.

These threats, these human activities, have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of women and men living in poverty, on local communities, cultural societies, and on our massive global economies which depend on the marine ecosystem. I have spent my career seeing it in the very places where the water meets the land. And where fisheries fail, oceans fail. Supporting healthy fisheries and eating sustainable seafood is an easy way to help keep our global economies and oceans healthier.

I have seen the reductions in species and the impact on what were some of the most productive sustainable fisheries from Newfoundland’s cod fishery to Senegal’s tribal hand netting of local reef fish. I hear the same story everywhere I go, from Mr. Cox the conch diver in Tobago to Jamma the Sakalava spear fisherman in Madagascar. A decade ago these fisheries were productive and hundreds of local families were supported, on the table and in their local economies. Now they aren’t. In Marzamemi, in Southern Sicily, where there were once dozens of local fisheries and canneries, there is now only one. An entire industry wiped out in a generation. And why?

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Island Life

12 Mar 2019 - Published by UNDP Maldives, the magazine focuses on the importance of individual and collective action towards a more sustainable Maldives.

12 Mar 2019 - Published by UNDP Maldives, the magazine focuses on the importance of individual and collective action towards a more sustainable Maldives. Features include a story on coral restoration: Save the Beach Maldives have joined forces with Meeru Island Resort & Spa to start a coral conservation project in the Meeru Seas. Today, their coral garden is thriving and teeming with fish.

READ ONLINE: https://issuu.com/undpmaldives4/docs/islandlife_issue4_webversion_061218

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WORLD WILDLIFE DAY 2019: THE 15 BIGGEST THREATS TO THE WORLD’S OCEANS

5 March 2019 - From coral bleaching to acidification, Newsweek discusses 15 of the biggest threats facing the oceans today—as well as what we can do about them.

AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SAVE THEM

5 March 2019 - For the first time, the UN’s World Wildlife Day is highlighting threats to marine life. The theme of World Wildlife Day 2019, which takes place on March 3, is 'Life below water: for people and planet'. The title is a nod to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life below water, which focuses on protecting marine species.

“Oceans regulate our climate, produce half the oxygen we breathe, provide nourishment for [more than] 3 billion people, and absorb 30 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and fully 90 percent of the heat from climate change,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary-General, in November when the theme was announced.

UN World Wildlife Day was established in 2013, with the first event taking place in 2015. Its mission is to “celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild fauna and flora.” Activities, film screenings and art contests are taking place across the world to draw attention to this year’s theme, including an event at UN Headquarters in New York.

Oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and make up more than 99 percent of the planet’s livable habitat, but scientists say they’re in serious trouble. The first systematic analysis of marine wilderness, published in the journal Current Biology in 2018, found that the ocean has been extensively altered due to human activity, with only 13 percent left undisturbed.

The news followed the revelation that over half the world’s oceans are being industrially fished. A 2018 study, published in the journal Science, found that commercial fishing covered a bigger area than global agriculture.

This massive disruption to ocean ecosystems can be caused by such diverse threats as overfishing, agricultural chemical offspill and global warming driving up sea temperatures. While threats to rainforests and other land environments have long been known, public awareness about the precarious state of the ocean are a more recent revelation, thanks in part to cultural phenomena like the BBC’s Blue Planet series.

From coral bleaching to acidification, Newsweek discusses 15 of the biggest threats facing the oceans today—as well as what we can do about them.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.newsweek.com/world-wildlife-day-2019-oceans-pollution-global-warming-1349026?utm_source=GoogleNewsstandTech&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Partnerships

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UN celebrates World Wildlife Day and 'Life below Water'

4 Mar 2019 - High-level representatives from UN member states and international organizations gathered at UN Headquarters to celebrate World Wildlife Day.

4 Mar 2019 - High-level representatives from UN member states and international organizations gathered on Friday at UN Headquarters to celebrate the UN World Wildlife Day under the theme 'Life below water: for people and planet.'

The benefits of marine and coastal resources are enormous. Over 3 billion people depend on these resources for their livelihoods globally. The market value of marine and coastal resources and related industries is estimated at US$3 trillion per year, about 5% of global GDP. Alarmingly, despite its critical importance, life below water faces many threats, amongst them an area of primary concern for CITES, which is their unsustainable exploitation for international trade. Over 30% of commercially exploited marine fish stocks are overfished.

Jointly organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event was attended by senior government officials, international organizations dealing with fisheries such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), conservation leaders, the private sector, celebrity advocates and youth representatives.  

The UN Secretary-General provided a message for World Wildlife Day 2019.

The speakers and expert panelists shared with the audience their experiences and views on the crucial contributions of life below water to sustainable development as well as the challenges faced in ensuring its conservation and sustainable use, while highlighting solutions to address them.

World Wildlife Day 2019, which falls on 3 March, focuses on marine species and aligns closely with the Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life below water. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the breathtaking diversity of marine wildlife, the benefits it brings to our everyday lives as well as ways to ensure that it can continue to do so for generations to come.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/news-centre/announcements/2019/un-celebrates-world-wildlife-day-and--life-below-water-.html

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World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Living Oceans

1 Mar 2019 - The winners were announced today in New York at an event to celebrate WWD2019, which falls on Sunday, 3 March.

1 Mar 2019 - The winners were announced today in New York at an event to celebrate WWD2019, which falls on Sunday, 3 March. The ocean and 'life below water' have sustained human civilization and development for millennia. Despite their importance for sustainable development, marine species are facing various threats and are in need of our immediate attention if we want to ensure that they can continue to fulfill that role during our lifetimes and for future generations. To emphasize the importance of this issue, Jackson Hole Wild, the CITES Secretariat and UNDP have come together once again to organize a film showcase for World Wildlife Day. This year, the theme 'Life Below Water: For People and Planet' spotlights threatened species, highlighting the problems we are facing and the ideas we can use to tackle them.

Judges, professional filmmakers, marine biologists and stakeholders from around the world chose the winners from more than 235 entries in 6 categories:Ocean Heroes; People and Oceans; Ocean Issues and Solutions; Marine Life; Ocean Short; and Ocean Micro-Movie.

Both winners and finalist films will be subsequently showcased extensively to raise global awareness of the importance of marine species and the critical challenges they face at community screening events presented by partners throughout the world, including free educational screening events for students as well as for local communities around the world to take action to protect and restore our planet’s oceans.

List of winners online here: https://www.cites.org/eng/news/UN-celebrates-marine-species-for-World-Wildlife-Day-with-moving-pictures_01032019

More online here: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/news-centre/news/2019/finalist...

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Meet Manal Rouphael, UNDP Ocean Action Volunteer

21 Feb 2019 - Meet Manal and read her story. She joined our Ocean Action Campaign as a volunteer in September and focused her activities back to her roots in Lebanon.

21 Feb 2019 - Meet Manal: she joined UNDP's Ocean Action Campaign as a volunteer in September 2018. Manal focused her activities back to her roots - Lebanon.

I spent the first 24 years of my life with a beach less than 10 minutes away from my house. I used to open my eyes every morning looking at the Mediterranean Sea, I never felt bored of this beautiful view, I never felt bored swimming every day in this endless blue water, I never felt bored driving next to the beaches nor sitting at the shores even though it was cold in winter. It is the perfect place to go no matter the time or weather. It is a place where you can just sit and think about life, and make decisions. It is the place where you want to be happy and relaxed. Being there gives you a feeling you could never understand until you are there.

Then I moved to the middle of the United States of America where the closest beach to me is over 15 hours driving.

Living far away from the sea has taught me to appreciate it more than I ever had. I miss it every single moment. 

However, even when I am visiting back home, I still miss it. Unfortunately, all I can smell and all I can see around me when I am standing by the shore is rubbish. #Lebanon’s waste crisis began in 2015 when a huge landfill site closed and government authorities failed to implement a contingency plan in time to replace it. Sadly, since then, everything has been dumped directly into the sea and coastal landfills which has been causing a major disaster for the shoreline ecosystem and public health. The level of sea pollution in Lebanon is dangerous. Urgent actions need to be taken!!

From there, I decided to volunteer and join the UN Development Programme’s Ocean Action Hub where I had the opportunity to promote Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) for Healthy Marine Ecosystems for People and the Planet among the environmental organizations, scientists, civil movements, and youth groups in Lebanon. The most important thing was to make these groups aware that they are not alone in trying to stop pollution and protecting the Ocean and that there is a global community for the ocean that they can join.

ACTIONS need to be taken and more volunteers are needed in order to promote SDG14 around the world. “Without a healthy Ocean, human life will suffer.”

I dream of a healthy Ocean/ living for our present and future generations. Let’s make it REAL!

READ ONLINE HERE: https://www.facebook.com/notes/ocean-action-hub/meet-manal-rouphael-undp-ocean-action-volunteer-from-the-usa-by-way-of-lebanon/954235631367573/

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Why aren’t fish coming back?

19 Feb 2019 - Mark Kurlansky - We have arrived at a point where a fishery that could be saved simply by good management would be extremely fortunate.

19 Feb 2019 - Mark Kurlansky - We have arrived at a point where a fishery that could be saved simply by good management would be extremely fortunate. The abused ocean is having difficulty sustaining life.

Sustainable is an ever more complicated word. In the mid-1960s, when I was a kid working on commercial fishing boats in New England, the fishermen were constantly talking about the problem of over fishing. They were among the first to raise the issue. But they were primarily complaining about foreigners in their waters, especially Russians and Japanese. After 200-mile exclusions zones were declared by most countries in the 1970s, the problem of overfishing foreigners was solved. Then came a worse problem of overfishing local fishermen.

To be clear, the problem of overfishing is not a failure of fishermen, it is a failure of government. Fishermen fish and governments regulate. Management has been so faulty that fishermen have been talking about regulating themselves, which is an interesting possibility, but oversight would still be needed.

In 1994 when the most historically important fishery in the world collapsed, the northern cod stock on the Canadian Grand Banks, government started taking fishery management seriously, at least in the northern hemisphere. Exploitation of southern countries and the devastation of those previously only slightly fished waters became a major classically colonialist problem.

But in the north, particularly in North America and Europe, fishing became tightly regulated. One would imagine the fish coming back. But this has not happened. It’s turned out to be far more complicated than originally thought. To simply order fisherman to take fewer fish became a wasteful policy forcing fishermen to throw away their catch. Then came reduced efforts, limiting the number of days at sea, the size of nets, the power of engines. Closing down certain grounds for a number of years. Sometimes using a combination of these proved most successful.

There have been a few victories and a few improvements. Cod, we are told, has become once again abundant on the banks in the North Sea. But when the actual numbers are looked at, while they have increased, they are still at levels once considered disastrous, nowhere near the levels once considered natural. It is a problem that biologists call ‘shifting baselines’. We become accustomed to such low numbers that improvements that are far below what was once considered healthy are hailed as success. We are getting to a point where few people remember what it once was, and so the goals become obscured.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://medium.com/@UNDP/why-arent-fish-coming-back-22811c280ea1

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A wilderness of water: Protecting the life that protects us

18 Feb 2019 - “The ocean is under threat from pollution and plastics, from overfishing and habitat loss, from acidification, which threatens all life on Earth.” - Cody Simpson, UNDP Ocean Advocate

18 Feb 2019 - “The ocean is under threat from pollution and plastics, from overfishing and habitat loss, from acidification, which threatens all life on Earth.” - Cody Simpson, UNDP Ocean Advocate

Overfishing

Commercial overexploitation is so severe that 90% of fish stocks are either fully exploited, over exploited, or have collapsed entirely.

This is a slow moving ecological and financial catastrophe. Fishing provides jobs for 260 million people, almost half of them women.

About 15% of the animal protein for human needs comes from seafood. And yet astounding waste persists in commercial fishing.

One in three fish caught never makes it to the plate. Every year fisheries waste about 10 million tonnes of fish—enough to fill 4,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Trafficking also poses a serious threat to life below water; the World Wildlife Fund estimates that 100 million tonnes of exotic fish are captured every year.

By 2100, without significant change, more than half the world’s marine species may face extinction.

CONTINUE EXPLORING THIS FEATURE ONLINE HERE: https://feature.undp.org/wilderness-of-water/

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What works in ocean and water governance: Impact stories from UNDP's Water & Ocean Governance Programme

15 Feb 2019 - Report contains examples of successful water and/or ocean governance projects and reveals the critical steps or factors that ensured they met their objectives. 

15 Feb 2019 - Governance reform is about instituting and practicing new ways of operation and interaction. It is no linear process but rather a whole-of-society transition that negotiates among varied interests and challenges towards changing entrenched practices.

Embarking on the present review, and in the interest of harvesting practical lessons from UNDP’s Water & Ocean Governance (WOGP) portfolio, the exploration was focused on “What works in water/ocean governance?” The report aims to unveil the most critical steps or factors that made these generally successful water and/or ocean governance projects reach their objectives.

The report therefore puts a selected set of projects of the WOGP under the spotlight. Whereas the achievements are often of a very different nature, they all tackle complex, cross-sectoral water or ocean issues that none of the actors involved could have managed on their own. This illustrates the important difference between management – addressing matters that are principally tackled by one actor, often within the purview of one organization – and governance, which relates to the broader relations and rules that regulate the way a whole sector or society acts jointly.

Examples include advancing the ecosystem-based management approach in the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem in Peru and Chile to combat habitat destruction and and overfishing to preserve marine ecological integrity, which was achieved through establishing and strengthening of Marine Protected Areas and improving access to fishery resources and markets, in the context of changing climatic, economic and social pressures. This case study demonstrates the incremental nature and long-term engagement process of good governance reform.

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Coastal women show resilience to climate change in Bangladesh

29 Jan 2019 - People living close to the country’s shoreline are reliant on agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods. Rising sea level and increase in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones are raising the incidences of flooding, salinity intrusion and erosion.

The article was first published on Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)

Water, water and water everywhere when you look around. But, about 60,000 people have been living in a small and isolated island – Char Jahir Uddin – in the Bay of Bengal with high risk of extreme climate events.

It is really a difficult task to go to the hard-to-reach area since an engine-run boat is the only means of going there. One and half hour is needed to go to Char Jahir Uddin by the engine-run boat from Tazumuddin Upazila of Bhola district. Only one boat shuttles from Char Jahir Uddin to Tazumuddin Ghat in a day while the rest of the time the Char people remain isolated from the mainland amid the risk of cyclone and tidal surge.

Like many others, once Razia Begum was at plight when she along her eight-member family came to Char Jahir Uddin about 19 years back, losing her home and all belongings at Tazumuddin Upazila to riverbank erosion.

“When we came to the Char, we had nothing to start a new life. We collected hogla pata (elephant grass) from the char and made different types of mats and sold those to fishermen. That time, we never thought of eating meals three times in a day. I thought how we would pass the days,” said Raiza, a mother of six children.

As her day-labourer husband often failed to manage a work in the highly vulnerable island, she said, they had to strive every day apart from facing natural disasters like cyclone and storm surge.

But, the fortune of her family was changed after they were brought under the ‘Fish-Fruit-Forest (FFF) model of the Integrating community-based adaptation into Afforestation and Reforestation Programme jointly introduced by UNDP Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Forest Department.

Under the project, the Forest Department leased a piece of fallow land of forest to one poor family for 10 years and created a small pond on it and handed over the pond to the family. Razia is one of the beneficiaries of the project.

Project officials said a total of 40 FFF models were established on eight hectare of fallow land in Char Jahir Uddin, bringing 40 extremely and climate-vulnerable families under the project, which helps them lead a dignified life.

A total of 80 fruit-bearing and timber tree saplings were planted and about 1,550 fish fries were released on every pond. “I have planted saplings and cultivated vegetables on the banks of my pond. I am also rearing ducks and farming fish on the pond. And I am reaping benefits from it,” Razia said with a smiling face.

She has so far sold eggs of Tk 5,000 and earned Tk 15,000 by selling vegetables. “I have sold fish of Tk 9,000 so far from my pond and hope that I could be able sold fish of Tk one lakh at the end of this season,” she added.

“We got a dream after getting the FFF mode…now we are leading a decent life earning from the project,” Razia said.

People living close to the country’s shoreline are reliant on agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods. Rising sea level and increase in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones are raising the incidences of flooding, salinity intrusion and erosion.

The FFF model is being applied in the coastline to reduce climate vulnerability of coastal poor communities and lift them out of poverty. It makes the coastal less-productive land productive by building mounds and ditches so that fruits, vegetables and timber trees can be grown, and fish can be farmed.

The FFF model increases the income of the marginalised community through climate resilient fisheries, horticultural and livestock related livelihood options.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.bd.undp.org/content/bangladesh/en/home/presscenter/articles/2018/12/27/Coastal_women__resilience_climate_change.html

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