‘The ocean connects us all’- UN Chief at the opening of the UN Ocean Conference 2022

United Nations published this video item, entitled “‘The ocean connects us all’- UN Chief at the opening of the UN Ocean Conference 2022” – below is their description.

“When we see the Earth from space, we truly appreciate that we live on a blue planet.

The ocean connects us all.

Sadly, we have taken the ocean for granted, and today we face what I would call an “Ocean Emergency”.

We must turn the tide.

Global heating is pushing ocean temperatures to record levels, creating fiercer and more frequent storms.

Sea levels are rising.

Low-lying island nations face inundation, as do many major coastal cities in the world.

The climate crisis is also making the ocean more acidic, which is disrupting the marine food chain.

Ever more coral reefs are bleaching and dying.

Coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrasses and wetlands, are being degraded.

Pollution from land is creating vast coastal dead zones.

Nearly 80 per cent of wastewater is discharged into the sea without treatment.

And some 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans ever year.

Without drastic action, this plastic could outweigh all the fish in the oceans by 2050.

Plastic waste is now found in the most remote areas and deepest ocean trenches.

It kills marine life and is doing major harm to communities that depend on fishing and tourism.

One mass of plastic in the Pacific is bigger than France.

Unsustainable fishing practices are also rampant.

Overfishing is crippling fish stocks.

So excellencies,

We cannot have a healthy planet without a healthy ocean.

Our failure to care for the ocean will have ripple effects across the entire 2030 Agenda.

The ocean produces more than half of the oxygen we breathe.

It is the main source of sustenance for more than one billion people.

And industries relating to the ocean employ some 40 million people.

And, a healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future.

Five years ago, at the last United Nations Ocean Conference, we issued a Call for Action to reverse the decline in ocean health and to restore its productivity, resilience and ecological integrity. (5.09)

And since then, many communities have come together to protect the marine resources they depend on.

International partnerships have been working to create marine protected areas for the recovery of fisheries and biodiversity.

And where sound management has been undertaken, fisheries have rebounded.

The legal framework for ocean issues is well-established in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of its adoption this year.

And I am pleased to say that there has been significant progress on a legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction

A new treaty is being negotiated to address the global plastics crisis that is choking our oceans.

And just a week ago we saw multilateralism in action with a World Trade Organization agreement on ending harmful fishery subsidies.

It is also now well understood that by protecting and restoring the ocean, we are acting to address the climate crisis.

Following COP26, the ocean’s role in addressing climate change is now integrated into the work of the UNFCCC, the organization that as you know, is extremely relevant in relation to fighting climate change. Organizing the different conferences of the States’ parties that have been taken very important decisions, starting with the Paris Agreement.

And we have also seen advances in ocean science and its ability to inform policy.

And we have seen science and traditional knowledge combine for improved ocean management.

All these efforts stand to be improved and scaled up during the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, launched last year”. [Excerpt]

United Nations YouTube Channel

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