Second Global Ocean Conference opens today in Lisbon, governments in Asia and the Pacific should seize the chance to boost cooperation and solidarity to handle a bunch of challenges that endanger what’s a lifeline for millions of people within the area.
If accomplished proper ocean motion may even be local weather motion however it will require working in live performance on just a few fronts.
First, we should spend money on and assist science and know-how to provide key options. Strengthening science-policy interfaces to bridge practitioners and policymakers contributes to a sound understanding of ocean-climate synergies, thereby enabling higher coverage design, an necessary precedence of the Indonesian Presidency of the G20 course of. Moreover policy support tools can help governments in figuring out and prioritizing actions by way of coverage and SDG monitoring and situations growth.
We should additionally make the invisible seen by way of ocean knowledge: simply three of ten targets for the purpose on life under water are measurable in Asia and the Pacific. Higher knowledge is the muse of higher insurance policies and collective motion. The International Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP) is an progressive multi-stakeholder collective established to allow international locations and different stakeholders to transcend GDP and to measure and handle progress in the direction of ocean sustainable growth.
Options for low-carbon maritime transport are additionally a key a part of the transition to decarbonization by the center of the century. Nations in Asia and the Pacific acknowledged this when adopting a brand new Regional Action Programme final December, placing extra emphasis on such concrete steps as progressive transport applied sciences, cooperation on inexperienced transport corridors and extra environment friendly use of present port infrastructure and amenities to make this ambition a actuality.
Lastly, aligning finance with our ocean, climate and broader SDG aspirations supplies an important basis for all of our motion. Blue bonds are a sexy instrument each for governments all for elevating funds for ocean conservation and for buyers all for contributing to sustainable growth along with acquiring a return for his or her funding.
These actions and others are steps in the direction of guaranteeing the viability of a number of of the area’s key ocean-based financial sectors, resembling seaborne commerce, tourism and fisheries. An estimated 50 to 80 per cent of all life on Earth is discovered underneath the ocean floor. Seven of each 10 fish caught across the globe comes from Pacific waters. And we all know that the oceans and coasts are additionally important allies within the combat in opposition to local weather change, with coastal techniques resembling mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass meadows on the frontline of local weather change, absorbing carbon at charges of as much as 50 occasions these of the identical space of tropical forest.
However the well being of the oceans in Asia and the Pacific is in severe decline: rampant pollution, harmful and unlawful fishing practices, insufficient marine governance and continued urbanization along coastlines have destroyed 40 per cent of the coral reefs and roughly 60 per cent of the coastal mangroves, whereas fish shares proceed to say no and consumption patterns stay unsustainable.
These and different pressures exacerbate climate-induced ocean acidification and warming and weaken the capability of oceans to mitigate the impacts of local weather change. International local weather change can also be contributing to sea-level rise, which impacts coastal and island communities severely, resulting in greater disaster risk, inner displacement and worldwide migration.
To advertise concerted motion, ESCAP, in collaboration with accomplice UN businesses, supplies a regional platform in assist of SDG14, aligned throughout the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Growth (2021-2030). By 4 editions to date of the Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean, we additionally assist international locations in figuring out and putting in options and accelerated actions by way of regional dialogue and cooperation.
It’s abundantly clear there might be no wholesome planet with out a wholesome ocean. Our leaders assembly in Lisbon should step up efforts to guard the ocean and its treasured sources and to construct sustainable blue economies.
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana is an Below-Secretary-Normal of the United Nations and Govt Secretary of the Financial and Social Fee for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
IPS UN Bureau