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The UN declares a “state of emergency for the oceans”, at the opening of a world conference in Lisbon – franceinfo

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For five days, thousands of people will think about the future of the seas, in order to find solutions to overfishing, plastic pollution or the acidification of the seas. Article written by Published on 06/27/2022 14:36 ​​Updated on 06/27/2022 15:03 Reading time: 2 min. Their objective ? Trying to find remedies for the ills of the oceans. At the call of the UN, thousands of political leaders, experts and defenders of the environment are gathered in Lisbon (Portugal), from Monday June 27 and for a five-day conference. “We are currently facing what I would call a state of ocean emergency,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. A failure would be synonymous with “cascading effects”, he underlined in his opening speech.
The seas, which cover more than two-thirds of the planet’s surface, generate half the oxygen we breathe and represent a vital source of protein for the daily lives of billions of people. The ocean also plays a regulatory role by mitigating the effects of climate change. But by absorbing around a quarter of CO2 pollution, even as emissions have increased by 50% over the past sixty years, the ocean has become more acidic. This destabilizes aquatic food chains and reduces its ability to capture ever more carbon dioxide. By absorbing more than 90% of the excess heat caused by global warming, the ocean also experiences powerful marine heat waves that destroy precious coral reefs. >> UN conference on the oceans: in Lisbon, the return of dolphins to the Tagus estuary is a sign of hope Among the very many themes discussed, plastic pollution. This will triple by 2060, reaching one billion tonnes per year, according to a recent report by the OECD. Already, microplastics cause the death of one million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals each year. Overfishing also raises concerns: “At least a third of wild fish stocks are overfished and less than 10% of the ocean is protected”, comments Kathryn Mathews, scientific director of the American NGO Oceana. The debates will also focus on a possible moratorium aimed at protecting the seabed from mining in search of rare metals needed to manufacture batteries for the flourishing sector of electric vehicles. A coalition bringing together nearly a hundred countries is also advocating a flagship measure aimed at declaring protection zones covering 30% of the planet’s oceans and land. Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share by email Share link

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