From the 1st to the 10th of September, the World Conservation Congress (IUCN) takes place in Hawaii. This major event occurs every four years and over 8300 governments officials are gathered, as well as numerous decision makers from non-profit organisation, aboriginals and scholars from 184 countries.
The purpose of this event is to call together a maximum of decision makers from all over the world to make efficient decisions to preserve the environment.
This year’s congress brings to light the issue of small island states which may disappear due to the sea level rise caused by global warming. However, other important matters will be discussed such as illegal wildlife trafficking (and more specifically ivory trade) as well as the logging industry.
To the world’s leaders: you must protect 30% of our oceans!
On this occasion, Avaaz started a petition in order to encourage the decision makers to finally take all the necessary measures to protect 30% of the oceans which has been unanimously recommended by scientists since 2014. This protection of at least 30% would enable the regeneration of void areas. Currently, only 2% of the oceans are protected marine reserves.
Oceans are key elements to both the planet and humankind’s balance. They cover up three quarters of Earth and enclose 97% of the planet’s water. Facing this vastness, we thought the resources were unlimited. Unfortunately, reality gave us a wake up call.
Overfishing, pollution and global warming are draining the oceans, leading to the emergence of completely lifeless areas. In fact, studies from the United Nations estimate that 60% of major marine ecosystems are degraded and their resources are still used unsustainably.
And yet, the role of oceans is crucial: absolute containers of water and heat, they produce over half of the oxygen on Earth, absorb most of the carbon and have the largest number of animal and vegetal species.
A vote will be held during this Congress to decide to protect 30% of the oceans by 2030 and how to establish this potential measure. Unfortunately, fishing lobbyists, from traditionally ocean-dependant countries such as Japan, are obstructing this decision.
That is why it is our duty to mobilise and make our voices heard.
Citizens rallies have paid off the last few months. As a matter of fact, the latest achievement is the expansion of the marine reserve of Papahanaumokuakea by President Obama. The Avaaz petition has largely contributed to the project’s success.
Let’s mobilise once again for the protection of oceans and to show decision makers that oceans should be a global cause.
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