Science – UN Ocean Conference begins with emotional appeals – Wikipedia

Lisbon/Berlin (dpa) – “People, we need a change!” , Hollywood star Jason Momoa (42/”Aquaman”) from Hawaii called the audience to the audience – and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres talks about an “emergency”.

The second United Nations Ocean Conference kicked off Monday in Lisbon with emotional pleas and urgent calls to save the world’s oceans, which are increasingly exposed to litter, overfishing, climate change and acidification.

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke leaves for the Portuguese capital only on Wednesday evening. However, it made clear what it is primarily about on Monday in the ministry’s statement to the five-day conference: Healthy seas are “essential to us humans” So we must from talk to action and make marine conservation a much higher priority.”

Nearly 30 heads of state and government, politicians, other scientists, some young activists, representatives of NGOs and companies will discuss how the world’s ocean resources can be better protected and used as sustainably as possible.

Lemki: We are putting our livelihoods at risk

“If we do not stop destroying the seas, we will not only endanger the wonderful natural resources, but also our own livelihoods. Marine protection will help us fight the climate crisis, pollution crisis and species extinction,” he said. Lemke. The green politician believes that one should “think more broadly and reconcile protection of the seas and oceans with eco-friendly and eco-friendly use”.

The minister stressed that Germany is developing a national strategy to strengthen the protection of the seas: “A separate sub-department for marine protection is currently being established within the ministry.” In addition, the Federal Government’s First Commissioner for the Sea will begin work this summer.

Guterres calls for ‘strict action’

But Guterres cautioned that national initiatives and progress in recent years are far from enough. “We all have a lot to do.” He called for global efforts and called for “strict measures” especially to combat marine plastic pollution. The largest plastic island in the Pacific Ocean is already the size of France, and plastic particles can now be found in the most remote corners. In 2021, new records are set for sea level rise, ocean warming and acidification, and greenhouse gas concentrations.

Like Lemke, the WWF called for “actions” rather than “declares and promises” at the start of the UN conference. Heik Weissper, head of marine conservation at WWF Germany, said the international community must “make surely a consistent policy change of course for the benefit of the seas”. According to the WWF, the conference “must make progress, particularly in the ongoing negotiations on the Convention to protect the high seas, protect 30 percent of sea surface by 2030 and stop deep sea mining.”

No binding agreements planned

On Friday, the “Lisbon Declaration” containing “innovative scientific proposals to solve the problem” will be published. Meanwhile, environmentalists have expressed skepticism because there are no binding agreements.

After the first conference in New York in 2017, the second Ocean Conference will be held two years late due to Corona. According to official information, the meeting will be attended by former US Secretary of State John Kerry and French President Emmanuel Macron, in addition to Guterres and Lemke. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may want to stop. Sports stars like the world’s best giant surfer, Maya Gabeira, are also present. Regardless of the Russian war of aggression, representatives of both Russia and Ukraine announced their participation.

The world’s oceans cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and are home to more than 80 percent of life on Earth. For billions of people, they are the basis of work and nutrition. The oceans are also an important part of the global climate system.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220627-99-820993 / 2

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