December 7th, 2020, 22:19 Posted By: wraggster
When the heads of state of 14 nations sat down together in late 2018 to discuss the grim condition of the world's oceans, there was no certainty that anything consequential would result. The leaders planned 14 gatherings, but met only twice before the pandemic upended their talks. So when the group announced this week the world's most far-reaching pact to protect and sustain ocean health, it signalled rather more than a noteworthy achievement in a complicated time. From a report:The agreement, negotiated via the nuance-free tool of video conferencing, also offered hope of a renewed era of global accord on climate, where issues grounded in science might finally trump political posturing. Overall, the 14 leaders agreed to sustainably manage 100 percent of the oceans under their national jurisdictions by 2025 -- an area of ocean roughly the size of Africa. Additionally, they vowed to set aside 30 percent of the seas as marine protected areas by 2030, in keeping with the United Nations' campaign known as "30 by 30." Both of those large commitments, the leaders say, will help end overfishing and illegal fishing, rebuild declining fish stocks, halt the flow of plastic waste into the seas, and clean up "dead zones" created by runoff from farm waste.
"What I find really interesting is that 14 nations spent the last two years talking to each other in an experiment you'd like to see more of in the future," says Nancy Knowlton, a marine scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, who was not involved in the project. "They are working together as a team. Starting with countries on the same page provides a mechanism for actually achieving success." The group of 14 looks nothing like the usual assemblage of international leaders recruited for global initiatives. France, with its vast array of overseas territories that gives it one of the planet's largest ocean footprints, was not invited. Nor were the powerhouse players of Russia, China, or the United States.
In Rare Show of Solidarity, 14 Key Nations Commit To Protect Oceans - Slashdot
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