Steve holding a banner that says "Marine Reserves Now!" A global network of marine reserves covering 40% of our oceans can help restore them to health.

We all know that life on Earth is struggling to survive in the face of so much environmental destruction.  As our oceans are plundered, our forests destroyed and our climate changed, we are making our planet less and less able to sustain life on Earth. Without stable food sources and a healthy environment, our children and their children will have a much more difficult life than us.  I’m here in Nagoya, Japan for the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN agreement that is meant to conserve biodiversity. The CBD was created at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and nearly 20 years later, sadly there hasn’t been much progress.

As you know, political negotiations that should have produced solutions in recent years have mostly been spectacular failures. Life on earth urgently needs a rescue plan here in Nagoya and not another political failing. Greenpeace is here to demand governments save life on earth and agree  a new way forward for the CBD- called a “Strategic Plan” that protects biodiversity, a legally binding “Access and Benefits Sharing” agreement- basically, a guarantee that countries and in particular indigenous communities will have control over their own natural resources and receive the financial benefits of their use. And, finally Greenpeace is demanding that the CBD set aside areas of land and ocean as off-limits to destructive activities like fishing, logging and energy exploration. In short, we need this CBD meeting to create the rescue plan needed to leave future generations a healthy, living planet.

As you can see, this meeting is quite literally about the future of our planet – which should be enough to motivate politicians to take action and not just make meaningless commitments.  I often wonder what life will be like for my niece and nephew decades from now, since I’ve seen so many changes in my lifetime. Part of what motivates me is the hope that they inherit- and their children also inherit- a healthy, living planet.

It’s too early to tell what the outcome will be here. There are still two full weeks of talks ahead of us, and sometimes progress can be slow at huge UN meetings. Creating healthy, living oceans is a priority for us here, so just weeks ago, Greenpeace gave the CBD a clear outline of how to save our oceans: an Emergency Oceans Rescue Plan. Negotiators here at the CBD have in their hands the way forward to save our oceans. If we want living oceans and a planet that can maintain life on earth, we need the rescue plan to come out of Nagoya.

Help by adding your voice to the movement for marine reserves here and be part of the rescue plan!