Ocean Action Hub

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A 10-step plan to save our seas

Here are some article's highlitghts: 

  • 2050 is predicted to be a bleak milestone for the oceans - but it's not too late to avert disaster.
  • Here are 10 actions the world can take to strengthen and preserve our oceans for generations to come.

The year 2050 has been predicted by some to be a bleak year for the ocean. Experts say that by 2050 there may be more plastic than fish in the sea, or perhaps only plastic left. Others say 90% of our coral reefs may be dead, waves of mass marine extinction may be unleashed, and our seas may be left overheated, acidified and lacking oxygen.

It is easy to forget that 2050 is not that far off. Kids we see building sandcastles on the beach today might be gaining traction in their jobs and perhaps starting their own families. The possibility that our children may inherit from us such a broken and diminished ocean is hard to accept.

Such a future, however, is not yet written in stone. A healthier, more whole, and maybe even more profitable future ocean may still be within reach – at least for a little while.

Here are 10 steps that could take us towards a more desirable ocean future:

  1. Freeze the warming
  2. Walk the talk
  3. Blue revolution
  4. 30 x 30
  5. The other 70%
  6. Big cracks in the sea
  7. End plastic pollution
  8. Land
  9. Wired ocean
  10. Ocean equity

Read the full article here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/a-10-step-plan-to-save-our-oceans/ 

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What is 'nature positive' and why is it the key to our future?

G7 leaders recently announced that “our world must not only become net zero, but also nature positive, for the benefit of both people and the planet.”

Nature positive is a disruptive idea and it is a new business model based on regeneration, resilience and recirculation – not destruction and pollution.

G7 leaders recently announced that “our world must not only become net zero, but also nature positive, for the benefit of both people and the planet.”

This represents a real paradigm shift in how nations, businesses, investors and consumers view nature. In the past, the mantra among a growing number of inspired leaders has been to do less harm, to reduce impact and to tread lightly across our world. Of course, this mantra remains.

But now there is a new worldview gathering pace: "nature positive." This asks: What if we go beyond damage limitation? What if our economic activities not only minimize impact, but also enhance ecosystems?

A nature positive approach enriches biodiversity, stores carbon, purifies water and reduces pandemic risk. In short, a nature positive approach enhances the resilience of our planet and our societies.

Read the full story: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/06/what-is-nature-positive-and-why-is-it-the-key-to-our-future/

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12 innovative and surprising solutions for saving our seas

24 Aug 2020 - Digital platform Uplink is announces it's Ocean Cohort of 12 innovations tackling the biggest issues facing our seas.

24 Aug 2020 - Digital platform Uplink is announces it's Ocean Cohort of 12 innovations tackling the biggest issues facing our seas.

Life Below Water also inspired the first mission for entrepreneurs and change-makers developing new innovations and solutions through UpLink, a digital platform for scaling innovation and driving progress toward the SDGs. 

12 of these Uplink innovators recently presented their ideas to a panel of experts and judges from across the industry at the World Economic Forum’s Virtual Ocean Dialogues

The World Economic Forum and Uplink will work extensively with the cohort over the next 4 months to scale the innovators' impact, highlighting their work through social media, presenting them at ocean-focused events, and introducing them to experts and potential funders who can accelerate their ideas. 

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/the-ocean-uplink-un-sdg-12-innovative-companies-saving-our-seas/

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These 2 teenagers have helped change the law on plastic pollution in Indonesia
27 Jan 2020 - WEF - The young generation is finding solutions to the world's problems: Bali has introduced a plastic bag ban after Melati Wijsen's campaign; Indonesia's President has now promised to clean up the country's rivers.
27 Jan 2020 - WEF
  • Bali has introduced a plastic bag ban after Melati Wijsen's campaign.
  • Indonesia's President has now promised to clean up the country's rivers.
  • The young generation is finding solutions to the world's problems.

“Since I started this talk, more than 200,000 metric tons of plastic will have entered the ocean.”

That distressing fact was shared by Gary Bencheghib, young environmental activist and co-founder of Make a Change World, who had been speaking at Davos for around 20 minutes.

“There are 500 times more pieces of plastic in our ocean than there are stars in our galaxy, he said. “The truth is that there has never been a more important time to act than now.”

Bencheghib grew up on the Indonesian island of Bali where he continually encountered plastic pollution in beaches, rivers, and in the ocean.

“During big rains, our beaches are literally covered in this material. It’s completely unbearable to witness and experience.”

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/how-does-indonesia-deal-with-plastic-pollution/

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This is how we can feed the planet while saving the ocean

3 Sept 2019 - Aquaculture is the world’s fastest-growing form of food production and is the source of half the world’s seafood.

3 Sept 2019 - What if I showed you evidence suggesting the global supply of beef, chicken or pork could collapse over the coming decades? You might well panic at the thought.

This threat, while not eminent for land-based animals, is very real for the ocean and the critical sources of wild seafood that we harvest from them. While most of us may think of land-based sources as providing the majority of our animal protein, the ocean’s contribution to human nutrition is incredibly important. Seafood provides as many as 3 billion people with their principal sources of dietary protein. And with the United Nations predicting a global population of 9.7 billion by 2050, and potentially as many as 11 billion by the end of this century, the number of people reliant on seafood for their diets is only likely to grow.

All of which makes the current state of the ocean - and warnings about what this could mean for many of our most significant fisheries - all the more worrying. Industrial-scale fishing has led to 90% of global fish stocks being fished to their maximum. This, combined with added stressors such as ocean acidification, climate-driven coral reef diebacks, microplastic pollution and coastal habitat destruction, is making it even more difficult for our oceans, one of Earth’s primary life-support systems, to produce food for a growing population. These pressures are unparalleled in human history, and the results could be devastating for many of the fisheries on which so many communities depend.

The situation becomes even more worrying when one bears in mind that many of the more seafood-dependent nations also tend to be small island or coastal states in the relatively underdeveloped global south. These areas are expected to suffer disproportionately from the impacts of climate change, like rises in sea level, and also often lack the economic resources necessary to prioritise the development of alternative food sources.

These challenges combine to create what might feel like an insurmountable development challenge – but all is not lost. There is a secret weapon in our arsenal of sustainable solutions that you may not expect. It has the potential to meet the global demand for seafood and can have a positive impact on the wider environment and marine ecosystems when done well.

I’m referring to aquaculture – the commercial farming of fish, shellfish and seaweeds. As one of the most efficient ways of producing animal protein, aquaculture is the world’s fastest-growing form of food production and is the source of half the world’s seafood. Already, the sector is worth an estimated $243 billion globally and employs some 20 million people. But the contribution of aquaculture to global food security from ocean and marine farming - where there may be the greatest opportunity - is still relatively small in comparison to the global challenge we face.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/09/this-is-how-we-can-feed-the-planet-while-saving-our-oceans/

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David Attenborough’s worried about this ocean threat - and it’s not plastic

28 June 2019 - Broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough has warned our waters are facing the biggest threat in their history, with industrial overfishing putting the entire ecosystem at risk.

28 June 2019 - If the ocean was an economy, it would be the seventh largest in the world.

But instead of fostering it as a resource, humans are jeopardising its future – using it as a garbage dump and fishing it dry.

Broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough has warned our waters are facing the biggest threat in their history, with industrial overfishing putting the entire ecosystem at risk. Seafood is a key source of protein for people around the world, but nearly 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, according to Friends of Ocean Action, a group of more than 50 global leaders, convened by the World Economic Forum and World Resources Institute.

The impact of overfishing is wide-ranging. It’s a cause of degraded ecosystems, according to the WWF, and affects the size of the fish left behind, as well as how they reproduce and the speed at which they mature. When too many fish are removed from one particular spot, the resulting imbalances can kill off other marine life, including sea turtles and corals.

There’s also an economic aspect, with many businesses and jobs reliant on the fish industry. When fish are under threat, the coastal economies that depend on them are also put at risk.

Adding another layer of complexity are the illegal and unregulated practices that are difficult to track. One in three fish captured never makes it to the plate, according to Friends of Ocean Action, and it’s tricky for consumers to know whether the fish they’re eating have been caught legally.

The good news is that the plight of the ocean is rising up the international policy agenda.

Working with Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions, Friends of Ocean Action is making efforts on three fronts: getting better data to help detect and eliminate illegal fishing, increasing traceability and transparency across supply chains, and encouraging international cooperation to prevent vessels from landing illegal catch.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/david-attenborough-s-worried-about-this-ocean-threat-and-it-s-not-plastic/

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Gender parity has a huge role to play in the fight to save our oceans

13 Jun 2019 - SDG 14 and the health of our planet is substantially less likely to be attained if 50% of the population who can help achieve these goals are ignored.

13 Jun 2019 - SDG 14 and the health of our planet is substantially less likely to be attained if 50% of the population who can help achieve these goals are ignored. Gender must be embedded in all efforts to protect the ocean and engage with it in a sustainable way.

  • Peter Thomson - United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, United Nations

  • Isabella Lövin - Minister for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden

In the coastal state of Odisha, India, women farmers have turned a crisis into an opportunity.

Cyclones, rising sea levels and increasing water salinity have devastated their communities and turned swaths of fertile ground into wasteland. For years, these women lost income, their health and nutrition suffered, and they found themselves ever more marginalised.

Then, through a development programme focussed on gender, they came up with simple, innovative solutions that helped to transform their communities. Two of these innovations were mangrove nurseries and floating gardens.

Run by women, the mangrove nurseries provided an income through growing trees to rehabilitate forest wetlands. The forests act as natural bio-shields against the tidal surges of severe storms and protect the life and property of coastal communities. Rich in biodiversity, they provide goods and services such as food, materials and aquaculture. They are also powerful carbon sinks, vital for battling climate change.

Continue reading online here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/gender-parity-has-a-huge-role-to-play-in-the-fight-to-save-our-oceans

IMAGE: UNDP India/2014/Prashanth Vishwanathan

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Women’s voices must be heard in the battle to save the ocean

16 Jan 2019 - WEF Annual Meeting - Gender is not embedded or mentioned in SDG 14 as it is in most of the other goals. This is a mistake. There is clear evidence that women and men in the fishing industry are treated and paid unequally. 

16 Jan 2019 - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting - The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14 is focused on the effort to conserve and sustain the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources. It is an essential goal for the life of the planet and the wellbeing of all. The ocean feeds billions of people and provides livelihoods for billions more - including, of course, women and girls.

And yet gender is not embedded or mentioned in SDG 14 as it is in most of the other goals. This is a mistake. Fishing and aquaculture are neither gender-blind nor gender-neutral. There is clear evidence that women and men in the fishing industry are treated and paid unequally. There is substantial segregation of work by gender, with men doing much of the offshore and high-value fishing, fish harvesting and aquaculture, while women are far more involved in less well-paid, or even unpaid, fish processing, harvesting of less valuable fish, sales and maintenance.

Women are rarely given a seat on the local, regional, national or international bodies that deliberate on the oceans, laws and standards that affect them. Access to funding, training, education, technology, market information and the ability to start ventures are much less available to women than to men. This lack of gender diversity stifles innovation, productivity and creativity. It stifles the solutions women could offer for creating sustainable oceans and livelihoods through fishing.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/womens-voices-must-be-heard-in-the-battle-to-save-the-ocean

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One good reason to feel less blue about the future of our ocean

10 Jan 2018 - Scientists, tech developers and entrepreneurs are making a wealth of ocean data available on an open-source, digital platform for global public good.

10 Jan 2018 - What's the story? We know our ocean is under unprecedented strain from warming, acidification, overfishing and plastic contamination, among other challenges. By applying the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and involving the right mix of public and private stakeholders, we think the Friends of Ocean Action can make a big difference to some of these problems.

Let's start with the tech. A tremendous flood of data is being generated by the advanced sensors carried by ships, satellites, ocean-going drones, fishing nets and even surfboards, but it just isn’t being fully exploited. We are working with a network of scientists, tech developers and entrepreneurs to make this wealth of data on the ocean available on a comprehensive, open-source, digital platform for the global public good.

In the same way that Interpol enables crime-fighting agencies around the world to share information, we hope this platform will help governments to restore fisheries, stop vessels that are fishing illegally from landing their catch, and help seafood businesses, retailers and individuals that rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/one-good-reason-to-feel-less-blue-about-our-oceans/

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We can save our ocean in 3 steps - if we act now

15 Oct 2018 - Advancing and applying marine science and sharing it; ending illegal fishing; and extending protection to vulnerable, pivotal ocean areas.

15 Oct 2018 - WEF - Kristian Teleki, Head of the Friends of Ocean Action, Director - Sustainable Ocean Initiative, World Resources Institute

This article is adapted from a keynote speech to G7 Ocean and Environment Ministers in Halifax, Canada, on 20 September 2018.

Fighting for the ocean is one of the greatest and defining challenges of our age.



Our relationship with the ocean is at a crossroads. Humanity has a clear choice: business as usual, with continuing ocean decline that will harm every area of human development and wellbeing; or deep-seated change in our behaviour, priorities and investments in order to balance ocean protection with our socio-economic goals.

It really is a case of sink or swim.

There are three main reasons why we are at a turning point - and there are three highly-achievable steps that can set us on a course for securing a healthy, productive ocean that supports wealthy, sustainable economies.

The time is right for change, first of all, because human exploitation of the ocean is causing immense, and in some cases irreversible, damage. A third of fish stocks are unsustainably harvested, we are choking our seas with plastic and agricultural run-off, and our carbon emissions are causing unprecedented warming and acidification. The situation is critical.

The oceans provide us with so much more than food

Secondly, thanks to incredible progress in science and technology, we now know what damage we are doing, and, increasingly, understand the extent to which we rely on the ocean – not only for food, transport and recreation, but as the world’s greatest carbon sink, sheltering us from the impacts of climate change by absorbing 30% of our carbon and 90% of the heat we produce.

Ignorance, or the claim of more pressing priorities, have ceased to be an excuse.

Thirdly, there has been an explosion of interest in the ocean, by governments, by business and among the general public. Just five years ago, when the recommendations of the Global Ocean Commission were launched, one of its goals was to have a Sustainable Development Goal for the ocean. Now it seems impossible this was ever in question. We have a UN Envoy for the Ocean, UN Ocean conferences, and top billing at major gatherings like the G7.

We also have the Friends of Ocean Action brought together by the World Economic Forum, the Special Envoy for the Ocean and the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden to fast track solutions in support of SDG14; and then the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, which brings together 12 heads of government who are committed to developing, catalysing and supporting solutions for Oocean health and wealth in policy, governance, technology and finance.

And it is the G7 and these other bodies that can make the difference - who can help turn this trifecta of opportunity into a new age of ocean action.

The ocean is open for business as never before – but we need leaders and governments to take bold decisions that lead to ocean health and wealth.

We must seize the chance to build a sustainable blue economy and develop innovative blue solutions to the world’s great challenges: climate change, food security, renewable energy and regional security.

So, how do we get there?

There are three immediate and achievable steps that will set us on the right course. First, advancing and applying marine science and sharing it with less-developed states; second, putting an end to illegal fishing; and third, extending protection to vulnerable, pivotal ocean areas.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/we-can-save-our-ocean-in-three-steps-if-we-act-now/