Sunday, 17 February, 2019

United Nations hosting its first Oceans' Conference

United Nations hosting its first Oceans' Conference United Nations hosting its first Oceans' Conference
Theresa Hayes | 08 June, 2017, 01:34

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet.

"We are here on behalf of humanity to restore sustainability, balance and respect to our relationship with our primal mother, the source of life, the Ocean", he noted.

"Every second breathe you take comes from ocean-produced oxygen".

Marine and coastal ecosystems include marine living resources and important habitats such as coral reefs, sea-grass beds, which are crucial for sustainable oceans and seas.

A surge in the number of voluntary commitments to take action to improve the health of the ocean has been recorded, and more are expected as the Ocean Conference gets underway on Monday, 5 June at United Nations Headquarter in NY. The surface waters are getting warmer.

"The Atlantic, Southern and Indian oceans' fishing grounds are among the healthiest worldwide and coastal tourism is among the biggest income earners for many countries".

The oceans are home to nearly 200,000 identified species, although the actual figures are thought to be in the millions.

But Christian also gently rapped the knuckles of the Trump administration when he underscored the significance of the Paris Agreement, adding: "While some may continue to deny man's culpability for the damaging effects of climate change on islands and man, no island, no village and no nation can deny that trash in our oceans is of man's own doing [and] man must clean up his mess". It is so incredible to be here in NYC supporting World Oceans Week. Over the past decade, UNDP has supported the establishment and expansion of a wide variety of marine protected areas, over an area of more than 177.8 million hectares, in 48 countries.

The ban on plastic bags suggested by the Kenya Government is a good example of the critical actions needed. This commitment was reconfirmed in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 14.

IMO says the Ocean Conference (5-9 June) will feature a high-level plenary session, several "partnership dialogues" and many more side events during which all aspects of SDG 14and its sub-targets will be analysed and discussed.

"The Conference will explore how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development", said Wu Hongbo, Conference Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The conference has ambitious goals and will result in a joint "Call for Action" to advance efforts towards a sustainable ocean.

Thousands of people are expected to attend - including heads of State and Government, civil society representatives, business people, as well as actors, and ocean and marine life advocates.

This week's United Nations conference on oceans has attracted leaders whose countries are members of the world body, and according to Ambassador Thomson, the meeting provides the only opportunity to reverse the cycle of decline in our oceans.

The current negative trends for the oceans have to be reversed.