Dakar, September 11th, 2019 – Today, Greenpeace urged African governments to work towards a strong global treaty for the oceans that could help protect at least 30% of the high seas by 2030. This was during a meeting with Senegalese authorities, aboard its Arctic Sunrise boat, in Senegal from 11 – 14 September.
The maritime space, beyond the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), constitutes the High Sea, which represents 43% of the surface of the globe and 70% of the living space available on our planet, including land and seas, i. e. an area of 230 million square kilometers. This immense space is home to a complex marine world with biodiversity as rich as that of coastal waters and land areas. These marine ecosystems are the biological pump of the oceans, capturing carbon dioxide at the surface and storing it in the depths. Without this essential service, our atmosphere would contain 50% more carbon dioxide, and rising temperatures would make the world uninhabitable.
Protecting the high seas, therefore, means protecting not only our coastal activities but also all of humanity from global warming. It would also be a precautionary measure for the preservation of biodiversity, for which recent studies recommend that 30% be put in reserve.
“Today, deep-sea fishing and the emergence of deep-sea mining activities by a handful of countries, most of them rich, extend the list of threats that the oceans are already facing. These include climate change, ocean acidification, plastic pollution, overfishing, the fishmeal industry, resource scarcity…” warned Dr. Ibrahima CISSE, Greenpeace Africa’s ocean campaign manager.
“The biological and non-biological resources contained in the marine world of the high seas should be a protected heritage of humanity. The adoption of a strong treaty will provide an opportunity for governments to address the shortcomings of current global ocean governance that has led to the loss of biodiversity in most marine ecosystems and to continue to ensure biodiversity, employment and food security for millions of people,” Dr. Cissé added.
This year, Greenpeace has started an expedition from the North Pole to the South Pole. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness among decision-makers and the international community of the need to protect at least 30% of the oceans by 2030 and to safeguard biodiversity and ensure the sustainable use of the resources on which many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people depend.
Greenpeace Expedition: Let’s protect at least 30% of the oceans by 2030 https://www.greenpeace.fr/protegeons-nos-oceans/
See CECAF (2016). Report of the twenty-first session of the Committee on Fisheries for the Eastern Central Atlantic.
Ocean Action Hub (2017). Presentation of Senegal: Presentation of the fishing sector. www.oceanactionhub.org/presentation-du-senegal-presentation-de-la-secteur-de-la-peche
FAO (2018). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. http://www.fao.org/documents/card/fr/c/I9540FR
Contacts for the media:
● Dr. Ibrahima Cissé, Greenpeace Africa’s Oceans Campaign Manager, [email protected]; +22177099888842
● Bakary Coulibaly, Communication Officer, Greenpeace Africa; [email protected]; +221773336265