Our oceans are an absolute marvel - but they are also in a deep, deep crisis. If we don’t act fast, our oceans will continue to deteriorate and vital food sources and essential functions provided to our planet and its people by the oceans could be lost forever. Since healthy oceans underpin our very survival, Greenpeace is today releasing an “Emergency Oceans Rescue Plan” aimed at world leaders, which sets out the best way to save our oceans- something that can and should be done at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which takes place later this month in Japan.
Our plan shows how to create a global network of marine reserves- wildlife parks at sea- to cover 40% of the world’s oceans. As scientists keep telling us, that’s exactly the kind of large-scale protection we need if we are to maintain living oceans. Our “Emergency Oceans Rescue Plan” is a call for policy-makers to implement it.
The benefits are obvious. Large-scale marine reserves will not just protect the full diversity of marine life and ensure healthy fisheries. They will also help us to alleviate food insecurity and poverty and build the resilience of our oceans to the impacts of climate change and, ultimately, allow us to sustain life on Earth for future generations.
If we want our oceans to thrive and to continue to support human and animal life, then we need marine reserves now. Marine reserves are off-limits to fishing, fossil fuel extraction and other industrial activities. Establishing marine reserves effectively puts a massive ‘STOP’ sign right in the front of those destructive bottom trawlers and dirty oil exploration ships that roam our oceans so freely right now, and says “yes” to healthy oceans and fish for the future.’
Last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told politicians gathered in New York that a “rescue package similar to that introduced after the global financial crisis is urgently needed to halt the worldwide loss of biodiversity, which is resulting in a heavy human cost.”
Well, with respect to our oceans, world leaders preparing for the CBD meeting need look no further than the Emergency Oceans Rescue Plan. The CBD meeting is a chance for world leaders to halt the massive loss of marine biodiversity and ensure the survival of the millions dependent on the oceans for food and their livelihoods - all that is needed is political will.
Please spread the word and join the call for marine reserves.