There is urgent need to change ways of managing world’s oceans – UN Report

By Fauxile Kibet  

A United Nations report has warned of dire environmental consequences if the world does not change how it manages its oceans.

According the Governing Coastal Resources Report launched by Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, the effect of land-based human activities have serious impact on the marine environment.

The report reveals that 80 per cent of marine and coastal pollution originates on land, but observes that there are very few policies, if any, truly effective governance mechanisms that manage land-ocean interactions.

“The report draws together an evidence base that demonstrates beyond question the need for enhanced governance coordination between terrestrial activities and marine resources,” said Izabella Teixeira and Janez Potočnik, Co-Chairs of the International Resource Panel.

The lead author of the report, Steve Fletcher, a Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy and Director of the Sustainability and the Environment research theme at the University of Portsmouth, said: “There is no doubt that the future of our oceans are at risk, and so is the critical role they play in supporting life on Earth and human wellbeing, as well as regulating the climate.

Professor Fletcher further observed that the issue is of global concern in which isolated interventions will have minimal impact.

“We’ve got to stop looking at the problem in a fragmented way – land-based activities in one country may contribute to degradation of coastal resources in another region.  This should now be a global priority where the most impactful land-based activities are prioritised for urgent action and so generating the most benefit most quickly.”