Ocean Action Hub

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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/

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These 11 innovations will tackle the causes of ocean plastic pollution, not just the symptoms
14 Sept 2018 - The WEF has challenged scientists, designers and other innovators to radically rethink how we make, use and reuse plastics.
14 Sept 2018 - WEF - Recent years have seen an unprecedented recognition of the rising tide of ocean plastic pollution. But it has become clear that despite significant levels of dedication, innovation and investment, clean-ups cannot keep pace. While essential for tackling the symptoms of the plastic pollution crisis, they do not address the root causes.

More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, yet the three biggest clean-ups deal with just 0.5% of that pollution. This crisis urgently demands innovators, industry and governments to develop systemic solutions that prevent plastic from becoming waste in the first place. That is why the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched its $2 million New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize last May, funded by Wendy Schmidt, Lead Philanthropic Partner of the Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.

The World Economic Forum challenged scientists, designers and other innovators to radically rethink how we make, use and reuse plastics. The challenge was split into two categories, with each winner receiving a share of the $2 million prize to invest in scaling and developing their ideas.

The Circular Design Challenge focused on the vast amount of small items such as shampoo sachets, wrappers, straws and coffee cup lids that are currently not recycled and often end up in the environment.

The Circular Materials Challenge targeted the lightweight, flexible packaging used for some of our favourite, but most technically demanding, products. Around 13% of today’s packaging, such as crisp packets and food wrappers, is made of layers of different materials fused together. This multi-layer construction provides important functions like keeping food fresh but also makes the packaging difficult to recycle. Combined with the necessary infrastructure, the Circular Materials Challenge winners innovations could prevent the equivalent of 100 garbage bags per second of plastic waste being created.

Image: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Meet the Circular Design Challenge Winners

Rethinking grocery shopping

MIWA, from the Czech Republic, introduces an app that lets shoppers order the exact quantities of the groceries they need, which are then delivered in reusable packaging from the producer to their closest store or to their home.

Algramo, a Chilean social enterprise, offers products in small quantities in reusable containers across a network of 1,200 local convenience stores in Chile.

Redesigning sachets

Hundreds of billions of sachets are sold each year to get small quantities of personal care and food products, such as shampoo and soy sauce, to people mostly in emerging markets. Those sachets are not recycled and many end up polluting the ocean.

Evoware, an Indonesian start-up, designs food wrappings and sachets (containing, for example, instant coffee or flavouring for noodles) made out of a seaweed-based material that can be dissolved and eaten.

Delta, from the United Kingdom, offers a compact technology that allows restaurants to make and serve sauces in edible and compostable sachets.

Reinventing coffee-to-go

More than 100 billion disposable coffee cups are sold globally every year, yet today almost none of them (nor their lids) are recycled.

CupClub, based in the United Kingdom, introduces a reusable cup subscription service, in which reusable cups can be dropped off at any participating store.

TrioCup from the US offers a disposable paper cup made with an origami-like technique that removes the need for a plastic lid. The team has chosen a 100% compostable material and is working on an alternative that is 100% recyclable.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/01/these-11-innovations-will-tackle-the-causes-of-ocean-plastic-pollution-not-just-the-symptoms/

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Marine fish stocks increasingly overfished – harmful fisheries subsidies must stop

​16 Jul 2018 - UN Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson and UNCTAD's Mukhisa Kituyi call for agreement to end subsidies.

​16 Jul 2018 - Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Peter Thomson, United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean, United Nations

The name of our planet is misleading. We call it Earth. Yet, over 70% of its surface is covered by the ocean. Sometimes we forget how essential the ocean is for the water we drink, the air we breathe, for human activity and for life. Year after year, we have been pushing the boundaries of the ocean’s sustainability, and in so doing we have been challenging our own.

The list of ocean’s troubles is long, but there is one item that demands immediate attention: harmful fisheries subsidies.

It is sobering to consider that nearly 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, and there is no doubt that fisheries subsidies play a big role. Without them, we could slow the overexploitation of fish stocks, deal with the overcapacity of fishing fleets, and tackle the scourge of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

This is important because fish accounts for 17% of all animal protein consumed in the world; at 26%, this share is even higher in the poorest and least developed countries. The ocean is also an important source of income. Nearly 60 million people work in fisheries and aquaculture, and it is estimated that 200 million jobs are directly or indirectly connected with the fisheries sector.

Fish also remains one of the most traded food commodities worldwide, and 54% of this trade comes from developing countries. For these countries, the fish trade generates more income than most other food commodities combined.

For all these reasons, the sustainability of fisheries is therefore essential for the livelihoods of billions of people in coastal communities around the world, especially in developing countries, where 97% of fishermen live.

But if we stay on our current course, we will push one of the planet’s prime food sources to the limit and compromise our ambitions for a better world by 2030.

The subsidies that do harm to fisheries, and which have underpinned the dramatic decrease of fish stocks in the last 40 years, must be withdrawn by 2020. Only that way can we begin to achieve the targets that the international community signed up for when it endorsed the Sustainable Development Goals.

Where we stand now, the cost is great: harmful fisheries subsidies are estimated to total more than $20 billion a year. Not only do they fuel overexploitation, they disproportionately benefit big business. Nearly 85% of fisheries subsidies benefit large fleets, but small-scale fisheries employ 90% of all fishers and account for 30% of the catch in marine fisheries. The value of these subsidies could be used instead to invest in sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and coastal community livelihoods to reduce the pressure on fish stocks.

Fisheries subsidies come in many forms, and sometimes they are not easy to identify, but one of the main sources is fuel subsidies. Thanks to subsidies, the retail price of marine gas oil varies wildly across countries and regions, with many countries selling below the global average price.

Sustainable Development Goal 14 – which concerns the ocean – contains a target that calls on World Trade Organization members, “to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies” by 2020.

Global leaders adopted this goal by consensus in 2015, but for too long now, potential solutions have been postponed. Harmful fisheries subsidies have been on the table for nearly two decades, since the WTO Doha Round was launched in 2001; and in 2017, at the WTO 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, it was again agreed “to continue to engage constructively”.

CONTINUE READING HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/fish-stocks-are-used-up-fisheries-subsidies-must-stop

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These Indian fishermen take plastic out of the sea and use it to build roads

6 Jul 2018 - Fisherman in India’s southern state of Kerala are taking on the battle to cut the level of plastic waste in the oceans.

6 Jul 2018 - Every one of India’s 1.3 billion people uses an average 11kg of plastic each year. After being used, much of this plastic finds its way to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, where it can maim and kill fish, birds and other marine wildlife.

Fisherman in India’s southern state of Kerala are taking on the battle to cut the level of plastic waste in the oceans.

When the trawlers drag their nets through the water, they end up scooping out huge amounts of plastic along with the fish. Until recently the fishermen would simply throw the plastic junk back into the water.

But last summer Kerala’s fisheries minister J. Mercykutty Amma started a scheme to change this. Under her direction, the state government launched a campaign called Suchitwa Sagaram, or Clean Sea, which trains fishermen to collect the plastic and bring it back to shore.

In Suchitwa Sagaram’s first 10 months, fisherman have removed 25 tonnes of plastic from the Arabian Sean, including 10 tonnes of plastic bags and bottles, according to a UN report on the scheme.

From waste to roads

Once all the plastic waste caught by the Keralan fishermen reaches the shore, it is collected by people from the local fishing community - all but two of whom are women - and fed into a plastic shredding machine.

Like so many of India’s plastic recycling schemes, this shredded plastic is converted into material that is used for road surfacing.

There are more than 34,000km of plastic roads in India, mostly in rural areas. More than half of the roads in the southern state of Tamil Nadu are plastic. This road surface is increasingly popular as it makes the roads more resilient to India’s searing heat. The melting point for plastic roads is around 66°C, compared to 50°C for conventional roads.

Using recycled plastic is a cheaper alternative to conventional plastic additives for road surfaces. Every kilometre of plastic road uses the equivalent of a million plastic bags, saving around one tonne of asphalt. Each kilometre costs roughly 8% less than a conventional road.

And plastic roads help create work. As well as the Keralan fishing crews, teams of on-land plastic pickers across India collect the plastic waste. They sell their plastic to the many small plastic shredding businesses that have popped up across the country.

Plastics ban

The need for schemes such as Suchitwa Sagaram is emphasised by research that shows 90% of the plastic waste in the world’s oceans is carried there by just 10 rivers - two of which are in India.

According to a study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, India’s Indus and Ganges rivers carry the second and sixth highest amounts of plastic debris to the ocean. The Indian Ocean, meanwhile, is choked with the second highest amount of plastic out of all of the world’s oceans.

Like Kerala’s fisheries minister, Indian politicians appear to be taking action in the face of this mounting crisis.

This month India’s prime minister Narendra Modi pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022, starting with an immediate ban in urban Delhi.

The move came just three months after India’s western state of Maharashtra issued a ban virtually all types of plastic bag, disposable cutlery, cups and dishes, as well as plastic containers and packaging.

Residents face fines from 5,000 rupees (US$73) for a first time offence to 25,000 rupees ($367) and jail time for repeat offenders, while the state’s Environment Department is also encouraging people to recycle bottles and milk bags through a buy-back scheme.

While’s India’s plastic problem is substantial due to the size of its population and its rate of economic growth, schemes such as those in Maharashtra, Delhi and Kerala set an example to western nations.

In the US, for example each person on average generates up to 10 times the amount of plastic waste generated by their Indian counterpart.

If western nations followed India’s lead of combining political pressure with entrepreneurial ventures, perhaps the world will stand of a chance of avoiding the predicted catastrophe of there being more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/these-indian-fishermen-take-plast...

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5 amazing people fighting to save our oceans

5 Jul 2018 - Need inspiration for your #OceanAction? These young global leaders are building a movement to restore and protect our ocean.

5 Jul 2018 - WEF - Need inspiration for your ocean action? This important collective of young global leaders is building a multi-pronged movement to restore and protect the Earth’s marine bounty. Coming from private, media, grassroots and multilateral organizations, these are some of the individuals who will ensure our oceans remain sources of life for generations to come.

The ocean supplies more than half of the oxygen we breathe, at least one-ninth of global livelihoods and a carbon absorption system that has thus far regulated climate change.

While only 5% of the ocean has been explored, evidence suggests its entire ecosystem is seriously under threat. The number of fish in the oceans has halvedin 50 years, since 1970. Coral reefs bleach far more frequently and extensively than just four decades previously, putting countless species at risk. Every minute, it’s estimated that the equivalent of an entire garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean.

Using tourism to protect coastlines

Gloria Fluxa Thienemann, Iberostar

Gloria Fluxa Thienemann is changing the impact of seaside tourism. As the CEO of one of Europe’s most prominent hospitality companies, Iberostar, she directly influences more than 110 hotels in 35 countries. More than 80% of these hotels are coastal. Through Gloria’s initiative, Wave of Change, Iberostar has developed an action plan to preserve and promote oceans and seas. This includes replacing single-use plastics with products made of biodegradable materials, ensuring the traceability of the fish on the hotel menus and funding research into coral reef conservation.

Promoting informed policy-making on oceans

Lara Setrakian, Oceans Deeply

Lara Setrakian infuses deeper understanding oceans within the public arena. As the co-founder and executive editor of News Deeply, a new media company working to advance coverage of complex global issues, Lara has created a specific platform for oceans-related news coverage, Oceans Deeply. This goes beyond the reporting of hot topics like the coral reef crisis, plastics pollution and the establishment of marine protected areas; it also aims to raise awareness of underrepresented issues such as high-seas governance and deep-sea mining.

Financing ocean-friendly investments

Pawan Patil, World Bank

Pawan Patil is a force behind the World Bank’s multibillion-dollar portfolio on oceans. He has worked in partnership with scientists, policy practitioners and financial experts around the world to author numerous articles illuminating the Earth’s ocean wealth and promoting a sustainable and ocean-friendly “blue economy”. Pawan, who is a senior economist at the World Bank, is also the recipient of several innovation awards in support of ocean-facing developing countries. Driven by his family’s coastal heritage, Pawan’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of seafaring and coastal communities, particularly in non-industrialized economies, will spur investment into the right type of oceanic development.

Inspiring young people to protect marine life

Hanli Prinsloo, I Am Water

Two women from the southern hemisphere are inspiring generations of young people and their families to care for the oceans. South African Hanli Prinsloo is the founder and CEO of oceans conservation trust called I AM WATER, which seeks to ignite a movement of “blue minds” across the planet. Her team connects diverse communities to the oceans to discover life beneath the waves first hand. By exposing influential philanthropists and young people from underprivilegedcoastal communities to the mystery and beauty of our aquatic environment, Hanli cultivates love for and commitment to protecting our oceans.

 

Kerstin Fosberg, Planeta Oceano

Image: Rolex/ Francois Schaer

In Latin America, Kerstin Fosberg, mobilizes scores of volunteers to empower and educate coastal communities in Peru and beyond about their marine environments through Planeta Oceano. The dynamo behind the campaign to acquire legal protection for Peru’s giant manta rays, Kerstin marshalled tourists and local fishermen as citizen scientists to collect data to advocate for this species. Her vision prompted the Peruvian government to legally protect the giant fish. Kerstin now has her sights set on achieving broader conservation efforts through strategic tourism and the activation of local communities.

Identifying tech solutions for the health of the oceans

Nina Jensen, REV Ocean

Image: Kjeli Ruben Strom

We hear a lot of talk about oceans protection but Nina Jensen is looking to turn it into action. She is the CEO of REV Ocean, which is currently constructing the world’s largest research and expedition vessel. This vessel will be fitted to house 60 researchers at any given time and promises to uncover sustainable and environmentally responsible solutions for the world's oceans. With a background of 15 years at WWF Norway, Nina has a burning commitment and passion for oceans, conservation and finding the specific solutions oceans need to thrive.

While their individual efforts have already identified these change-makers as critical contributors to national and regional ecosystems, their collective efforts have the power to safeguard the delicate interdependence between terrestrial and aquatic life.

Find out more about the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders here.

CONTINUE READING HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/5-amazing-ways-young-people-are-promoting-healthy-oceans/

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5 ocean success stories to inspire you to action!
World Economic Forum - It can seem that the world is awash with bad news about the ocean, but there are also a few bright spots. Here are five marine success stories.

World Economic Forum - Earlier this year, a study was published suggesting that humpback whales are making a comeback. The population appears to be in the midst of a baby boom, reversing years of decline driven by commercial whaling.

It was a rare piece of good news about marine life, and comes at a time when threats to our oceans have never been greater.

Every year, World Oceans Day encourages us to celebrate and honour the ocean. The 2018 theme is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.

Source of life

Water covers 71% of the surface of our planet. The ocean absorbs about a quarter of the CO2 that humans emit and marine plants produce most of the oxygen in the atmosphere.

However, our way of life is threatening these complex ecosystems. Plastic pollution is choking marine wildlife and harming corals, reaching even the deepest part of the ocean, climate change is causing sea levels and ocean temperatures to rise and acidification, overfishing is drastically depleting the world’s fish stocks and coral reefs are dying.

It can seem that the world is awash with bad news about the ocean, but there are also a few bright spots. Here are five stories about marine conservation and cooperation that made waves recently.

A comeback for some whale and shark species

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the humpback whale was hunted to near extinction. But a new study points to evidence of a rapidly growing population.

Between 2010 and 2016, researchers took 577 DNA samples from humpbacks around the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

Of those, 239 were from males and 268 from females. The progesterone levels identified in their blubber indicated that, on average over that period, 63.5% of the females were pregnant.

In addition, the number of pregnant females was rising, from 36% in 2010 to 86% in 2014.

The researchers also found that the whales were reproducing every year; 54.5% of females accompanied by a calf were pregnant.

“These high pregnancy rates are consistent with a population recovering from past exploitation,” noted the study.

Shark populations are also recovering

Shark numbers declined rapidly in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of overfishing and bycatch (where fish or marine mammals are caught unintentionally).

As Dr David Shiffman, a shark conservation expert and marine biologist, notes in a recent blog, great white sharks were among the first species to benefit from conservation protections around the world.

By 2009, the population was back to 30% below historic levels, indicating an upward trend.

But numbers of lesser known shark species, including the sandbar, blacktip, tiger, and spinner, are also increasing thanks to conservation efforts.

“While we can’t forget that many species of shark are in trouble, we can and should celebrate successes as we work to implement them elsewhere. Shark population increases show that shark conservation works,” writes Shiffman.

CONTINUE READING HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/5-ocean-success-stories-to-chase-away-the-blues/

Image: REUTERS/Hugh Gentry

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If we don’t protect the ocean, humanitarian disaster awaits - Isabella Lövin

8 Jun 2018 - Overfishing and climate change threaten the vital food supply of more than one billion people.

8 Jun 2018 - Overfishing and climate change threaten the vital food supply of more than one billion people. They are the driving forces behind the deteriorating health of the ocean, which is the world’s largest ecosystem and the source of oxygen and climate regulation for our entire planet, not to mention jobs and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people.

If we do not take urgent action to restore and protect our ocean we will soon face an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. We can fix these problems. The ocean has an immense capacity to heal itself, and there are proven methods available for us to help it.

On World Oceans Day, we need to recognize that the situation is critical, and strengthen our commitment to reversing ocean decline. The ocean belongs at the heart of the global political agenda. It holds the key to overcoming some of our most pressing challenges, such as combating climate change and producing enough food sustainably for 10 billion people by the middle of the 21st century. Saving our ocean is a question of human survival.

We already have a globally agreed plan for how to restore and protect our ocean. In 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including 17 global goals. Sustainable Development Goal 14 ‘Life below water’ and its ten targets specify what must be done to improve ocean health. We also have the Paris Agreement, in which nations pledge to curtail their carbon emissions and keep the global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius, as well as the 1400 voluntary commitments made at the first-ever UN Ocean Conference, which was convened by Sweden and Fiji in 2017.

What we don’t have is a lot of time. I urge world leaders to muster and exercise the political will to achieve these goals, to invest in ocean solutions and to encourage businesses and other stakeholders to join in. The G7 are meeting this week in Canada, and the ocean is on the schedule. I hope that the leaders of some of the world’s most powerful nations will seize this opportunity to take decisive steps to avert disaster. Addressing the following four key areas would help put us on track.

Fishing

The UN estimates that fish provide about three billion people with 20% of their animal protein, rising to close to 100% in many islands and coastal regions. Approximately one in 10 people rely on fisheries or aquaculture for their income. Small-scale fisheries are responsible for 90% of all fishing jobs in developing countries. But decades of overfishing, unsustainable fishing practices and pirate fishing have put this life-giving resource under extreme pressure.

The host of this year’s G7, Canada, knows only too well how devastating the outcome can be, having suffered the total loss of its Grand Banks cod fishery, along with tens of thousands of jobs. Image a similar scenario in a vulnerable, developing country. The results would be calamitous: widespread malnutrition, unemployment, insecurity and forced migration. The warning signs are already there, exacerbated by warming seas forcing some fish stocks to migrate out of reach of local fisheries.

So, what’s to be done? In short, we need to implement international agreements to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). The Port State Measures Agreement is designed to prevent vessels engaged in IUU fishing from using ports and landing their catches. We need to harness and share the latest surveillance and tracking technology to bring illegal fishers to justice and ensure that our fish are caught sustainably. There should also be a new push at the WTO to agree to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies. If the G7 put their weight behind - and invested in - these measures, two of the biggest obstacles to achieving sustainable fishing could be removed.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/if-we-dont-protect-ocean-humanitarian-disaster-world-oceans-day/

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India will abolish all single-use plastic by 2022, vows Narendra Modi

6 Jun 2018 - India’s Prime Minister has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022 with an immediate ban in urban Delhi.

7 Jun 2018 - India’s Prime Minister has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022 with an immediate ban in urban Delhi.

The plan announced by Narendra Modi is by far the most ambitious from any of the many nations which have so far promised to take action to tackle plastic pollution.

While plastic use per capita is much lower in India than many western nations, its population of 1.3 billion and the fact that the country is the fastest growing economy in the world will make fulfilling the promise a huge challenge.

“The choices that we make today will define our collective future,” the Prime Minister said. “The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”

A global crisis

A United Nations report issued to mark World Environment Day showed more than 50 nations are acting to cut plastic, including bans on single use plastics in the Galapagos and styrofoam in Sri Lanka, and the promotion of biodegradable bags in China.

But millions of tonnes of plastic still enter the sea each year, threatening wildlife and even the human food chain. Microplastics have now been found in tap water and human food around the world. According to a World Economic Forum report, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 if we carry on with business as usual.

The UN report says taxes and bans on plastic have been among the most effective strategies to curb plastic waste - but only when they are properly enforced.

The report says there is a fundamental need for broader cooperation from business, including obliging plastic producers to take responsibility and offering incentives to stimulate more recycling.

Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment says the world is on the “edge of a plastic calamity” but praised the new plan announced by the Indian government, “They have shown that political motivation, turned into practical action, can inspire the world and ignite real change”.

India has also announced a national marine litter action campaign and a programme to measure how much plastic enters India’s coastal waters.

It says it will also make 100 national monuments litter-free, including the Taj Mahal.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/india-will-abolish-all-single-use...