UN report sounds alarm to clean up oceans

Posted: 06/18/2012 in all marine news

The Jakarta Post –

In a giant tent not too far from the sandy beaches and beautiful coastline of Rio de Janeiro, ocean experts were sounding sirens over the condition of the ecosystem covering three-fourths of the Earth’s surface.

Saturday was The Oceans Day at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

Daylong events had experts talking about the challenges of forming a Rio+20 Oceans Declaration and Rio+20 Ocean Commitments, which will be submitted to around 130 world leaders attending the summit from Wednesday to Friday.

“This is not the situation we would find ourselves to be in 20 years ago, so we bear collective responsibility for the fact that the oceans are as polluted as they are,” said Rachel Kyle, vice-president and head of Network Sustainable Development at World Bank.

The major challenges facing the oceans include unsustainable fishing, climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and waste and the loss of habitats and biodiversity, according to a blueprint for ocean and coastal sustainability prepared by several UN agencies.

Jacqueline Alder, a marine and coastal ecosystem expert at the UN Environmental Program, believes that human activities on land, such as wastewater disposal, should be held responsible for the amount of pollution in the oceans.

On Saturday, Oceans Inc, an ocean channel, began its weeklong Rio+20 broadcast, with updates on the progress of the UN interagency report, how measures to preserve the ocean are faring and how the summit is looking after the planet’s circulatory system.

While the UN interagency report demands a number of actions for sustainable oceans, Kyle announced that more than 80 nations, private companies and international organizations have declared support for an alliance known as the Global Partnership for Oceans.

That idea was first announced in February by World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

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