UN Ocean Conference: Time for actions?

By Hannah Schartmann.

Our oceans are the largest ecosystems on our planet and home to up to 80% of all life in the world. We all depend on the ocean, even if we don’t live by it. The ocean supplies half the oxygen we breathe and absorbs around 25% of all carbon dioxide we produce. Billions of people depend on the ocean for their main source of protein or for economic activities, such as tourism, fisheries and trade. But the oceans are under danger because of human activities: overfishing, overexploitation of marine resources, pollution, underwater noise and climate change.

Well, that’s nothing new. We all know about the important role of the oceans in our life and the threats, which the oceans are facing. However, the effort for ocean conservation is still tough. And exactly these issues will be discussed at the next UN Ocean Conference. The Conference will take place from 27th of June to 1st of July in Lisbon, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal. The slogan of the conference is “Save our ocean – protect our future”.

A promising title… What is the aim of the Ocean Conference?

The Ocean Conference will bring together world leaders, scientists, the business community, change-makers and activists to work on solutions for ocean conservation and its resources. In total, eight main topics will be discussed at the conference: Marine pollution, ocean acidification, deoxygenation and ocean warming, sustainable fisheries and other ocean-based economies, scientific knowledge and marine technology, and finally the international legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources.

At the end of the conference, there will be an adopted “Call for Actions” from all participating countries. Also, partnerships for joint activities to protect the world’s oceans are agreed as a result of the “Partnership Dialogues” and voluntary commitments are made by companies or civil organisations.

It is clear that if we want to fight against the most defining issues of our time, such as climate change, food insecurity, diseases and pandemics as well as declining biodiversity, we have to act now to protect our oceans.

What are the civil society’s expectations of the conference? What are their wishes for the ministers and for the world leaders to protect our oceans?

In the next weeks, we will conduct interviews about the upcoming UN Ocean Conference with several NGOs from all over the world. There will be 14 interviews in total, according to the Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Life Below Water”. So, if you would like to get to know persons around the world who raise up their voices for the ocean, please follow our blog!

Check for more info: https://www.un.org/en/conferences/ocean2022/media

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