The world risks losing the benefits the ocean offers: UN
NEW DELHIThe world stands to lose many of the benefits of the ocean, warns the latest UN assessment of the state of the global ocean.
The first World Oceans Assessment (WOA I), published in 2015, warned that many areas of the ocean had been seriously degraded, mainly due to the inability to cope with pressures caused by human activities, including fishing, aquaculture, shipping and petroleum. and gas exploitation, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The latest assessment, released Wednesday, notes that the situation has not improved – and that many of the benefits the ocean provides to people such as oxygen, food, employment, medicine and regulation of the ocean. climate are increasingly compromised by human activities.
Believed to be the only comprehensive global analysis that examines social, environmental, demographic and economic trends affecting the state of the ocean, the assessment calls for integrated sustainable coastal and ocean management, driven by science, technology and innovation.
“A better understanding of the ocean is essential,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the launch. “As the assessment makes clear, the sustainability of the oceans depends on all of us working together – including through joint research, capacity building and sharing of data, information and technology.
Despite the improved understanding of the state of the global ocean and its marine life in recent years, there are still significant gaps in the scientific knowledge and capacity needed to ensure responsive policies that can help restore and to maintain the health of the oceans.
“We only saw about 10% of the ocean. Much of the ocean has yet to be explored and understood, ”said
The assessment indicates that the alarming rate of sea level rise, combined with increasing storms and coastal urbanization, has resulted in coastal erosion and flooding in coastal towns. Increased carbon dioxide emissions have led to the acidification of the oceans and, along with warming and deoxygenation, has resulted in a loss of biological diversity.
The thermal content of the oceans has more than doubled since the 1990s, seriously affecting marine life and ecosystems. The number of “dead zones” or zones with reduced oxygen in the ocean has increased from more than 400 worldwide in 2008 to around 700 in 2019.
About 90% of mangrove, seagrass and marsh species, as well as 31% of seabird species, are now threatened with extinction. Marine litter is present in all marine habitats, affecting the environment and marine organisms through the entanglement, ingestion and rafting of invasive species. Overfishing is estimated to have resulted in an annual loss of $ 88.9 billion in net benefits.
Human movements have introduced approximately 2,000 invasive non-native marine species, some of which pose significant risks to biosecurity and biodiversity.
About 15% of all sandy beaches in the world are experiencing shoreline recession at an average trend of 1 m per year or more over the past 33 years. “The regular process (assessment) is absolutely essential for developing ocean science priorities, as it identifies stressors and their impact – and that gives us insight into areas where we need to find solutions,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, head of the UN for education Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the Scientific and Cultural Organization.