OCEAN HEALTH = SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (SD)

This week a lecture at the University of Aruba tackled the ocean with a UNESCO expert who discussed the 2030 agenda after presumably a decade of Ocean Science research with the goal of helping governments and societies achieve major goals.

What are the goals? You know, the fending against marine pollution, degradation of habitats, ocean acidification, climate change and protection of seafood, our major source of protein.

This global effort described by the educated speaker is designed to serve as the global framework supporting comprehensive efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in Ocean Health and creating improved conditions for SD.

That’s a mouthful.

Apparently, collective research and investment is needed in the next two years, in preparation for a decade of Ocean Health activity: 2021 to 2030, the UNESCO decade of ocean science for SD.

When modern day science started looking at the world in the 50s and 60s, the scientific community was more interested in space and the heavenly bodies. Very few bothered with the ocean, diving, exploring and mapping, and as a result there is a HUGE knowledge gap as far as the ocean is concerned.

Examples? 99% of habitable marine areas lack basic biodiversity knowledge for their management; One million is the approximate number of marine species that could still be unknown to science; Three is the number of people who have explored the deepest known point of the ocean; 103 million square miles of deep seas are in perpetual darkness; Only 5% of the ocean floor has been mapped at high resolution.

So, there is a lot we don’t know and to catch up with our ignorance UNESCO is working on creating a global framework to boost scientific efforts at national and international levels, to address global and regional SD challenges.

If we band together and do the right thing, the benefits to society are HUGE. We’ll have a clean ocean having identified the source of pollution, quantified it, and reduced it, and finally removed pollutants from the water.

We will enjoy a healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are mapped and protected, and climate changes measured and reduced, after all the ocean is our weather engineer, and if we understand ocean conditions, and forecast changes it can greatly impact our well being and livelihoods. Just look at the damage all storms leave behind and if we can divert some resources to research, we might be able to mitigate disaster.

If we study the ocean carefully, we will have a safer ocean, that is sustainable and productive.

Think about it, in order to protect communities from ocean hazards and in order to protect the food supply, all nations, stakeholders and citizens should participate in this push to close the knowledge gap, so that information gathered may be shared among all nations, making informed decisions, that affect us al.

The UNESCO vision for the decade: Develop scientific knowledge, build infrastructures, and foster partnerships for a sustainable healthy ocean.

Get in touch: oceandecade.org; [email protected]    

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October 11, 2018
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