Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Real State of the Ocean

As the Rio+20 summit approaches its final day, and following the failure to implement protecting agreements for the High seas at Rio, the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) and the High Seas Alliance (HSA) examined the real state of the ocean and what the oceans text from Rio+20 means practically – on the water.

At an event in Athletes Park,  IPSO and the HSA with contributions from international marine biologists and experts, stressed the extreme speed of changes occurring in the ocean, such as acidification, warming and de-oxygenation. 

IPSO Scientific Director, Dr Alex Rogers stated: “We have a brief moment that we can act and to divert the future that we are currently facing. I am very disappointed at the negative outcomes for the protection of marine biodiversity at Rio”.

 The state of the effort to save the oceans should not be understated and despite significant disappointments this week regarding legal frameworks for marine protected areas, the work and research will continue.

Matthew Gianni , Policy Director at the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition commented “There are some elements that point to a way forward that can be used to make some changes. If what was agreed does represent a commitment by governments -  we expect to see some action in the coming months and years.  The problems won’t go away – and we are committed to continue working on them”.  

A further positive outcome of the Rio+20 conference was that oceans campaigners feel that at least something was done to help keep the oceans alive, and they will use that wave of momentum to push for more changes over the coming years.

Charlotte Smith of Oceans Inc concluded “Oceans are on the record in a way that they weren’t 20 years ago – and we will hold governments to this record”

Photo courtesy of Moyan_Brenn via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)