The 2022 United Nations Oceans Conference began on Monday in Lisbon, Portugal. The event, which will take place till July, is co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, said the UN in its press release.
This year, to mobilise action, the conference will seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action. Solutions for a sustainably managed ocean involve green technology and innovative uses of marine resources. Besides addressing the threats to health, ecology, economy and governance of the ocean, attention needs to be paid towards acidification, marine litter, unregulated fishing, and the loss of habitats and biodiversity.
“The Ocean Conference, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address the many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs,” the UN said in a statement. Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will serve as the Secretary-General of the Conference, and Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, will serve as the Special Adviser to the Presidents of the Ocean Conference on the ocean and legal matters.
The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, is the planet’s largest biosphere, and is home to up to 80 percent of all life in the world. It generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the additional heat generated from those emissions.
It is not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest carbon sink – a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change. June 8 has been designated as World Oceans Day by the United Nations – a day for humanity to celebrate the ocean.
(Feature and banner image courtesy: @antonioguterres/Twitter)