UN Secretary-General António Guterres has implored the world to “revitalise” our seas and oceans, “on which we all ultimately depend.”
The world’s oceans provide half of the planet’s oxygen, are the main source of sustenance for more than one billion people and provide work through various industries to around 40 million people.
However, human action has led to heavy degradation for oceanic life – with coral reefs frequently bleaching and many fish unable to cope with changing temperatures.
Guterres stated “plastic pollution has reached the remotest islands and deepest ocean trenches” – and that if the world doesn’t start to take immediate action, it will be too late.
“[We must find] a new balance in our relationship with the marine environment, working together with nature, not against it – and building inclusive and diverse partnerships across regions, sectors and communities to collaborate creatively on ocean solutions.”
The UN Chief did state that it’s not all doom and gloom, with many countries agreeing to combat plastic pollution in oceans last March. The UN Ocean Conference will also be held later this month in Lisbon; detailing exactly how the world can protect marine wildlife.
He stated that these landscapes can be saved and protected with unanimous action – but everyone must play their part.
“I urge all those with a stake in ocean health to come together to revitalise our seas and oceans,” he concluded.