Saturday Aug 20, 2022
Saturday Aug 20, 2022

UN chief calls for efforts to protect oceans

2021 Jun 09, 6:55, UNITED NATIONS
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses a virtual global roundtable on transforming extractive industries for sustainable development at the UN headquarters in New York, on May 25, 2021. Guterres on Tuesday called for a transformation of extractive industries to support sustainable development and a transition to a green economy. Photo: Xinhua

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for efforts to protect the oceans.

The recently issued Second World Ocean Assessment confirmed that many of the benefits that the global ocean provides to humankind are being undermined by human actions, he said in a message for World Oceans Day, which falls on June 8.

"Our seas are choking with plastic waste, which can be found from the remotest atolls to the deepest ocean trenches. Overfishing is causing an annual loss of almost 90 billion US dollars in net benefits, which also heightens the vulnerability of women, who are vital to the survival of small-scale fishing businesses," he said.

Carbon emissions are driving ocean warming and acidification, destroying biodiversity and causing sea level rise that threatens heavily inhabited coastlines, he noted.

The theme of this year's observance, "The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods," underscores the importance of oceans for the cultural life and economic survival of communities around the world. More than 3 billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, the vast majority in developing countries, said Guterres.

"As we strive to recover from COVID-19, let's end our war on nature. This will be critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, keeping within reach the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement, and ensuring the health of our oceans for today's and future generations," he said.

UN Antonio Guterres World Oceans Day oceans covid-19 sustainable development goals
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