Last week, I was honored to represent Project AWARE at two different, yet complimentary, fora where the ocean future was at the heart of international exchanges on solutions to the many challenges our ocean is facing.
Obama Proclamation On National Oceans Month 2015: This summer, millions of Americans will take in the beauty and natural splendor of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. As destinations for recreation and tourism, these bodies of water rejuvenate our spirit and cultivate a love of our great outdoors. And no matter where you live or who you are, a healthy and thriving ocean is essential to all people all year. Our marine environments contribute to our food supply, bolster our economy, strengthen our national defense, and support important scientific research and innovation.
Only the world's biggest economies top the bounty of the seas. According to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund, the world's oceans are worth a whopping $24 trillion. If the ocean was a country, it would be the seventh largest economy.
About 8 million tons of plastic waste wound up in the world's oceans in 2010, and researchers warn that the cumulative amount could increase more than tenfold in the next decade unless the international community improves its waste management practices.
The health of the global ocean is in decline and a five-year integrated rescue package is what’s needed to bring it back to life, according to a new report by the Global Ocean Commission.
The Commission has spent 18 months looking in to the decline of the ocean and has come up with a rescue package of eight proposals to restore and protect its natural capital and services. Its findings identified a lack of adequate governance on the high seas as the key issue.
Concern is growing over the threat that widespread plastic waste poses to marine life, with conservative estimates of the overall financial damage of plastics to marine ecosystems standing at US$13 billion each year, according to two reports released on the opening day of the first United Nations Environment Assembly.