Drastic Action Needed to Save Oceans, Experts Warn Ahead of UN Summit

Major stakeholders have called for drastic action to save the planet’s oceans ahead of the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon. “Politicians must listen to scientists,” Nuria Baylina of the Lisbon Oceanarium says. “It is urgent to take measures” on activities, such as fishing and emissions, the Portuguese biologist added, saying “drastic action is necessary.”

More than 20 heads of state and government are expected to convene at the Ocean Conference (June 27 – July 1), where delegations from 193 countries will draw up an action plan to protect the seas.

The Lisbon agenda will reinforce commitments of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, which include reducing marine pollution and expanding protected waters to 30%.

So far the international community has failed to meet Sustainable Development Goal 14, part of a blueprint for an environmental future that was outlined by the UN in 2015 which aimed to protect 10% of the oceans by 2020 and to ban certain types of fishing.