Saturday April 01, 2023

Protecting 30pc of oceans a huge challenge for the planet

February 05, 2023

MONTREAL: How do we go from protecting eight percent of marine areas to 30 percent in less than 10 years? This question is at the heart of a global forum in Canada this weekend aiming to save marine ecosystems under threat from overfishing, pollution and climate change.

On the heels of the historic biodiversity agreement signed at COP15 in Montreal late last year, about 3,000 officials, scientists, NGOs and Indigenous groups are meeting in Vancouver for the fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5), which opened on Friday and runs until February 9.

Scientists have said the meeting is crucial for setting up a framework to reach the agreed target at COP15 of protecting 30 percent of the planet´s lands and oceans by 2030.

It´s an immense step for ocean conservation, which will see a tripling of areas made off-limits to most human activities, with an aim to preserve sensitive ecosystems and species at risk.

“We must re-think our policies, economies, priorities, and processes in ways that reflect the important role nature plays in our own health, equity, well-being and economic sustainability,” said host Canada, which has some of the world´s longest coastlines.