Human activity has taken a serious toll on oceans over the last century. Nutrient runoff and pollution from sources on land have created oxygen-starved dead zones that are inhospitable to most forms of marine life. Climate change is driving up ocean temperatures and leading to ocean acidification.
Declining ocean health jeopardizes the well-being and livelihoods of coastal communities around the globe—as well as hundreds of millions of jobs that rely on ocean-related industries like tourism, fishing, shipping and biotechnology.
So what can be done to turn the tide?
A new report from a panel of global experts convened by the World Bank to guide the Global Partnership for Oceans, lays out a way forward for aligning ocean health with human well-being.
Coming together to make an ocean of difference
The Blue Ribbon Panel of experts from 16 countries represents a vast array of ocean interests with representation from government, the private sector, civil society organizations, science, economics and multi-lateral institutions.
Among many others, the diverse panel includes seafood industry leader Chris Lischewski, president and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods; oceanographer Sylvia Earle; fisheries economist Ragnar Arnason; and Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Tuiloma Neroni Slade.
Redefining what’s possible in ocean health and human well-being
The Blue Ribbon Panel recommends that the GPO—and others making future ocean investments—base their approach on five key principles that integrate social, economic and ecological considerations.
Taking a holistic view of the ocean challenge, the principles prioritize GPO investments that advance sustainable livelihoods, social equity and food security; ocean health; effective governance systems; capacity-building and innovation and are viable in the long term. The principle-based strategy will help the GPO make smart decisions on where, when, and how it can have the highest impact.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the ocean challenge. But there are solutions that can benefit both oceans and economies. By coming together at this critical time in history, the GPO’s message is clear: it’s in everyone’s best interest to revive ailing oceans for future generations.
Source | World Bank