Declaration for oceans to help reduce poverty at Rio+20 | WWF

Declaration for oceans to help reduce poverty at Rio+20

Posted on 22 June 2012    
School of fish and diver
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: WWF joins over 80 countries, civil society groups, private companies and international organizations in declaring support for the new Global Partnership for Oceans, signalling a commitment to work together to restore the world’s oceans.

Among those throwing their public support behind a Declaration for Healthy and Productive Oceans to Help Reduce Poverty at the Rio+20 conference are businesses including some of the largest seafood purchasing companies in the world and one of the world’s largest cruise lines.

The Global Partnership for Oceans, first announced in February 2012 by World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, is a new and diverse coalition of public, private, civil society, research and multilateral interests.

“Ocean ecosystems and resources are in dire straits, with unsustainable use, inadequate protection and pollution major contributors to the worsening situation.” said John Tanzer, Director Marine Programme, WWF International.

“The Partnership will provide significant political support and interest and a source of funding for long term investment in sustainable ocean use, thus helping to achieve healthy oceans and a future for those dependent upon ocean resources for livelihoods and food security.”

Announcing the unprecedented public statement of commitment in a keynote address to the Global Ocean Forum, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte said the Global Partnership for Oceans had garnered enormous support from across the oceans spectrum.

“Everyone can see the value in being part of a Partnership that aims to turn around the decline in our oceans,” Kyte said. “Everyone stands to benefit if the oceans are better protected, better managed and better understood for the important ecosystem services they provide.”

The Declaration commits the Partnership to mobilizing “significant human, financial and institutional resources for effective public and private investments in priority ocean areas”.

It aims to improve capacity and close the recognized gap in action in implementing global, regional and national commitments for healthy and productive oceans.

It also recognizes that despite global commitments made to date as well as the efforts of many the oceans remain “under severe threat from pollution, unsustainable harvesting of ocean resources, habitat destruction, ocean acidification and climate change”.

To tackle these threats, the Partnership is targeting three key focus areas:
  • Sustainable seafood and livelihoods from capture fisheries and aquaculture
  • Critical coastal and ocean habitats and biodiversity
  • Pollution reduction
Among the agreed goals are targets for significantly increasing global food fish production from sustainable aquaculture and sustainable fisheries; halving the current rate of natural habitat loss and increasing marine-managed and protected areas to at least 10% of coastal and marine areas; and reducing marine pollution especially from marine litter, waste water and excess nutrients.
School of fish and diver
© WWF Enlarge
Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
© Jürgen Freund / WWF Enlarge

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