“Simply No Scenario” Where Mankind Can Survive On A Planet Without An Ocean |
“Put simply, our relationship with the ocean of our planet must change”, President of the Assembly Volkan Bozkir during a high-level thematic debate on the ocean and Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14): life under water.
In a context where human activities have threatened to undo the delicate balance of this ecosystem, which sustains the nutritional, economic and social value of billions of people around the world, he argued that there is “simply no scenario ”in which we live on a planet without an ocean. .
Appetite for change
People don’t want to live in “a world of crisis after crisis,” Bozkir said, preferring instead the “security, sustainability and peace of mind” that come with a healthy planet.
Policy makers are also increasingly aware that a healthy ocean is an integral part of a strong economy.
“We have seen it in countries and cities that have favored coastal and marine areas over tourism… in protected wetlands… in efforts to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and regulate shipping. and resource extraction, ”he said.
New governance, policy and market approaches that promote both profitability and sustainability – for people and the planet – provide the opportunity for a ‘blue recovery’ to build resilience, especially in small island developing States, said the President of the Assembly.
“Building a sustainable ocean economy is one of the most important tasks and the greatest opportunities of our time,” he said, urging governments, industries, civil society and others to “unite their forces to develop and implement ocean solutions “.
As SDG14 targets will be among the first to mature, Mr Bozkir urged everyone to “think ahead” and arrive at the Second Oceans Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, with “evidence demonstrable progress ”.
Rather than wait for the opening of the Conference to discuss these issues again, he recalled that the Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development has already started.
“Let us choose to arrive in Portugal with achievements and progress that inspire hope and optimism for a better future,” he concluded.
The blue economy “foundation”
Peter Thomson, Special Envoy for Oceans, stressed the need to improve our relationship with the sea for a relationship of respect and balance.
He stressed the importance of achieving SDG14, saying that “ocean acidification cannot continue unabated” while stressing that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are “necessary to meet the targets. 2030 “.
And while highlighting advances in ocean awareness, marine protected area coverage and ocean science, Mr. Thomson underscored the urgent need to scale up.
“At the heart of SDG14 is the sustainable blue economy,” said Mr. Thomson, “from nutrition to medicine, energy to carbon sequestration and pollution-free transport, the sustainable blue economy is the foundation upon which a secure future for humanity rests. can be built.
“No quick fix”
In a world dependent on plastic, the UN official said there was “no quick fix to the scourge of marine plastic pollution.”
However, he called for measures to tackle the scourge, including by “exponentially” increasing funding to developing countries to invest in waste collection and disposal infrastructure as well as the large-scale implementation of plastic reduction, recycling and substitution systems.
He concluded by highlighting the interconnectivity of the world, calling it “a fundamental lesson in COVID-19[feminine pandémie”.
« Nous sommes connectés au sein de l’étreinte nourricière de la nature », a-t-il déclaré, affirmant que si nous empoisonnons la nature, nous nous « empoisonnons nous-mêmes ».
Engage with the ocean
From Portugal, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of the Sea, also spoke about the importance of healthy oceans for human and planetary well-being, highlighting the 2022 goal of a “more inclusive and more connected” engagement with the ocean.
“We are gathered here today to rekindle the tone of the Conference” next year, he said, elaborating on the need “to step up ocean action … by increasing and improving coordination at all levels… funding and ongoing monitoring ”.
Mr. Serrão Santos underlined Portugal’s support for science, as being “essential to be transversal in every oceanic action”.
In search of a sustainable recovery
Kenya Foreign Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo called attention to the impact of COVID-19, not only by delaying the conference, but also wreaking havoc on jobs in coastal economies and on communities. vulnerable coastal communities.
“We are looking for a recovery that will promote sustainable development and harmony between the people and the natural resources that support us,” she said.