World leaders must do more to protect the oceans; the U.N. General Assembly concludes Friday with a new agreement on marine protection.
“It takes a lot of determination at all levels to deal with the dire situation of the sea,” the U.N. Ocean Conference in Lisbon said in its final declaration.
A conference held in the Portuguese capital — attended by government officials, experts, and lawyers from 140 countries — is not a conference.
But it sets the agenda for the last international talks in August on an agreement to protect the high seas — those world waters beyond the country’s control.
“Loss of biodiversity, declining marine life, climate change … all for one reason, namely … human behavior, our oil and gas addiction, and everything has to be. it has been discussed, “Peter Thomson, the U.N. special envoy on the sea, told AFP.
Oceans produce half of the oxygen we breathe, regulate climate, and provide humans with one primary source of protein.
They also absorb a quarter of the emissions of CO2 and 90 percent of global warming resulting from global warming, thus playing a vital role in protecting life on Earth.
But human actions are being pushed to the brink of extinction.
Seawater has become acidic, threatening the digestive system and the sea’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide. Global warming has created substantial ocean waves that have killed coral reefs and increased oxygen levels in the dead.
Humans have fished for some of the marine mammals that have become extinct and used groundwater as a dumping ground for waste.
Today, treaties and regulatory bodies regulate shipping, fishing, and ore extraction.
Thomson said he was “very hopeful” that the national governments could agree to a “firm but effective” agreement for the high seas in August.
Tiago Pitta in Cunha, head of the Portuguese base Oceano Azul (Blue Ocean), said: “Pressure has increased dramatically in countries that are not interested in creating an effective maritime defense system.”
Laura Meller of Greenpeace has asked for more.
“We know that if the words could have saved the sea, it would not have been on the brink of collapse,” he told AFP.
“So in August when the governments met in the United Nations, they really needed to conclude a strong maritime agreement around the world.”
Efforts to protect the oceans will continue at two key conferences later this year — the U.N. climate summit in November and the U.N. conference on biodiversity in December.