ocean conservation tagged posts

What Will it Cost to Save the world’s Oceans?

Underwater coral scene

In 2015, 193 countries agreed on 17 global objectives for ending poverty and protecting the environment by 2030. These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included SDG 14, to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

A new study by two former diplomats with the CONOW Competence Centre for International Relations published in the journal Marine Policy estimates that to hit the targets needed to achieve this SDG the world must spend US$175 billion per year.

Reducing marine pollution will take more than half the money needed, according to the paper. At over USD$90 billion, that cost includes programs to clean up ocean trash, better manage waste and improve wastewater treatment plants. It also means investing in research on biodegra...

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One of the bigger science and environment stories of 2019

Coral reefs

Two major reports from the UN’s climate science body revealed in sharp relief the extent to which humanity is ravaging Earth’s land surface and her oceans. The first of these documents from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warned that we must stop abusing the land if catastrophic climate change is to be avoided.

The report outlined how our actions were degrading soils, expanding deserts, flattening forests and driving other species to the brink of extinction. Scientists involved in the UN process also explained that switching to a plant-based diet could help combat climate change.

The second report, dealing with the world’s oceans and frozen regions, detailed how waters are rising, ice is melting and species are being forced to move...

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Nature Conservancy Launches “Blue Bonds” for Ocean Preservation

The Seychelles Islands implemented the first ever "blue bond" last year

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has unveiled what it says is a pioneering US$1.6 billion scheme to scale up global ocean conservation efforts through “blue bonds”.

The bonds will refinance and restructure debt for coastal and island countries in exchange for a commitment to protect at least 30% of their near-shore ocean areas, including coral reefs, mangroves and other important habitats.

The scheme would help ensure the protection of an additional four million square kilometres of the world’s most biodiverse ocean habitat – a 15% increase on current coverage. It also aims to save 13% of the world’s coral reefs and could benefit 43 million people living within 100 kilometres of a coastline.

The international not-for-profit group’s Blue Bonds for Conservation Initiative, an...

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The year ahead in ocean conservation

Man fishing in Sri Lanka at sunset

The year 2018 saw the world’s oceans at a crossroads. Some of the world’s most important marine areas came under new and stronger protections. At the same time, the precarious health of the oceans was never clearer, with rapidly rising sea levelscoral bleaching and overfishing.

What does the new year hold for ocean conservation? Human Nature sat down with Aulani Wilhelm, senior vice president of Conservation International’s Center for Oceans, for a look ahead.

Question: What do you see as being the biggest focus in ocean conservation in 2019?

Answer: I think in the next year, the role of oceans and the need to stabilize our oceans in order to cope with climate change is going to become increasingly inescapable...

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Healthy oceans take center stage in China

Environmental leaders from China and abroad cut EDF’s 50th anniversary cake including, from left to right, Diane Regas, Executive Director of EDF, Erik Solheim, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Zhang Li, Secretary General of the SEE Foundation, and Su Jilan, Academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Honorary President of Second Institute of Oceanography in China’s State Oceanic Administration.

I have been fortunate to work on fisheries science and policy across the globe, from my home in New England to the opposite end of the earth in Australia, from the rugged and rocky coast of Chile to the warm tranquil waters of Cuba, and beyond. Each place has a unique story of how lives, communities, and history are shaped by the sea. Recently, I’ve had the privilege of joining exciting efforts rising to reform fishery management in the People’s Republic of China.

China plays an outsized – and growing – role in world affairs.  This is certainly the case when it comes to the blue economy, in which China is the dominant actor in the global seafood supply chain, among the top five maritime shipping nations, and poised to see growth in ocean energy development, mining, and tourism.


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$7 billion for marine protection

whale in gulf

A global conference to better protect marine life has raised more than $7 billion and won commitments to protect huge swathes of the Earth’s oceans. The European Union, which organized the Our Ocean conference in the Maltese capital of Valletta, its 28 member states and its EIB investment bank gave almost half those financial commitments, about $3.4 billion.

Representatives from businesses, almost 100 countries and others pushed the total up to the unprecedented level.

The conference focused on funding and leading projects as varied as combating plastics pollution to countering illegal fishing and looking at the effects of climate change.

The Our Ocean conference has accumulated some 8.7 billion euros ($10.2 billion) since it started in 2014 but the efforts in 2017 exceeded expectations.

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Ocean conservation needs a Hippocratic oath

The Ross Sea

Many professions – including doctors, lawyers and teachers – have a code of conduct to ensure fair practice and accountability. For example, doctors have a Hippocratic oath. Perhaps marine conservation should have one too?

As marine conservation ramps up around the globe to achieve UN sustainable development goal (SDG) 14 – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources – there is a risk that some actions taken that will undermine the rights and needs of local people. Past conservation efforts have led to the displacement and marine protected areas have been called a form of “ocean grabbing”.

We are concerned that there is no broadly applicable and comprehensive set of social standards to guide how marine conservation actions should be taken, so we recently ...

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Stop doing the washing!

washing machine

An estimated 1,900 microfibers can get rinsed out of a single piece of synthetic clothing each time it’s washed, and these microplastic fibers might be the biggest contributors to ocean pollution.

The issue of plastics polluting our oceans isn’t a new one, as the presence of vast quantities of plastic waste in the water and shorelines has been researched and documented. The origin of much of the larger bits of plastic debris in the ocean is fairly obvious, at least for those items that are identifiable with the naked eye, but one of the more pervasive ocean pollutants is so small as to be virtually invisible to us...

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