Ocean Action Hub

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This giant South African 'vacuum cleaner' leaves beaches microplastic-free

25 Nov 2020 - WEF - The Enviro Buggy vacuum cleaner sieves out microplastics and picks up normal, larger pieces of rubbish on a beach in Cape Town, South Africa.

25 Nov 2020 - WEF - The Enviro Buggy vacuum cleaner sieves out microplastics and picks up normal, larger pieces of rubbish on a beach in Cape Town, South Africa.

  • The same work would take humans days to achieve.
  • Wildlife can get entangled in waste or eat it, as they can’t distinguish between it and real food.

A giant blue four-wheeled beach 'vacuum cleaner' is being used to keep a Cape Town beach plastic free.

Called the Enviro Buggy, it is helping to sieve out microplastics and pick up normal, larger pieces of rubbish from the Mother City's Lagoon Beach.

It can be seen trundling along the soft white sand, followed by a hoard of 50 mask-wearing beach cleaners carrying bags and picking up litter in its wake.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/south-africa-microplastic-vacuum-cleaner/

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Overfishing is a social injustice - Amb. Peter Thomson

27 Nov 2020 - To end overfishing, we need to over eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies, SDG 14's Target 6.  

27 Nov 2020 - To end overfishing, we need to over eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies, SDG 14's Target 6.  

  • More than one-third of global fish stocks are being overfished.
  • Every year, $22 billion is spent to subsidize overfishing, which overexploits the ocean's resources and puts food and job security at risk.
  • This environmental and social justice issue can be stopped by eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies.

Fish in the ocean can seem a world away from the real-life struggles of people on land. But every year, $22 billion in public funds are being spent to subsidize overfishing, which puts food and job security at risk around the world.

Since the great majority of these subsidies goes to industrial fishing fleets, the very survival of countless coastal communities relying on small-scale artisanal fishing is being jeopardized.

Today is World Fisheries Day – an important reminder of the need to stop the perverse practice of subsidizing industrial fishing fleets that are overexploiting the ocean’s resources.

Five years ago at the United Nations, world leaders consensually agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes the elimination of harmful fisheries subsidies by 2020. The target explicitly aims to end overfishing, illegal fishing and the overcapacity of fishing fleets.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/overfishing-is-a-social-injustice-to-end-it-we-need-to-eliminate-harmful-fisheries-subsidies-world-fisheries-day

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How much plastic is in the ocean and what can we do about it?

9 Nov 2020 - WEF - There could be 14.4 million tonnes of microplastics at the bottom of the sea, new research says.

9 Nov 2020 - WEF - There could be 14.4 million tonnes of microplastics at the bottom of the sea, new research says.

  • The findings show there’s more than twice the amount of plastic on the seabed than on the water’s surface.
  • Scientists made the estimate after examining an area off Australia’s south coast.
  • The amount of microplastics in sediment is 25 times higher than previously thought.
  • Experts say a circular economy for plastic is needed to address the issue.

Plastic pollution in the ocean could be an even bigger problem than first feared, with 14.4 million tonnes of microplastics estimated to be at the bottom of the sea.

The figure is more than double the amount of plastic thought to be on the ocean's surface, according to a team from Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Industrial and Scientific Organisation (CSIRO).

The World Economic Forum-backed initiative Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) estimates that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste leaks into the ocean each year. Its recent Annual Impact Report 2020 stressed the urgent need for collective action worldwide to create meaningful and sustainable change.

In addition to reduced plastics use, it says global solutions to address post-pandemic waste management challenges are needed. It cites the example of Indonesia, where business, government and civil society worked with GPAP to develop a plan to reduce the amount of plastic reaching the ocean by 70% within five years.

GPAP also says accelerated efforts to create a global circular economy are needed. This is echoed by the New Plastics Economy initiative, which calls for the elimination of all unnecessary plastics and further innovation to ensure those which are used are reusable, recyclable or compostable.

A circular economy – in which items are used, not used up – for plastic would keep the material in the wider economy and out of the environment. This, the initiative argues, would benefit the environment, society and the economy.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/marine-microplastics-pollution-ocean-australia/

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‘Secret rainforests’ discovered deep in our ocean - here’s what that could mean

5 Oct 2020 - WEF - A new study has identified 116 deepsea coral reefs which scientists say are every bit as much in need of protection as the coastal reefs visited by snorkelers every year

5 Oct 2020 - WEF - A new study has identified 116 deepsea coral reefs which scientists say are every bit as much in need of protection as the coastal reefs visited by snorkelers every year. They lie between 200 and 1,200 metres deep in waters where no single nation has jurisdiction.

The value of coral reefs in the marine ecosystem has long been recognized. Although they cover just 0.1% of the seafloor, they provide a home for a quarter of all marine life. Scientists warn that climate change could kill all of them by 2100 unless action is taken.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/deep-sea-coral-reefs-biodiversity

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Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2020

The COVID-19 crisis wreaked havoc on societies and economies and dealt a major setback to achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Putting the world back on a path of sustainable, equitable, and inclusive growth will require more than a global recovery; it will require a Great Reset of social and economic systems.

Taking place in the context of the United Nations General Assembly, the World Economic Forum’s fourth and, for the first time, fully virtual Sustainable Development Impact Summit will convene leaders from government, business, international organizations and civil society along with a diverse group of experts and innovators to initiate, accelerate and scale-up entrepreneurial solutions to tackle climate change and advance sustainable development.

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Fish farms fed on food waste: How innovation is driving the blue economy

10 Jul 2020 -WEF - Using waste food to farm insects as fish food; and high-tech real-time water quality monitoring: innovations that could help change global aquaculture, were showcased at

10 Jul 2020 -WEF - Using waste food to farm insects as fish food; and high-tech real-time water quality monitoring: innovations that could help change global aquaculture, were showcased at the World Economic Forum’s Virtual Ocean Dialogues 2020.

Two young entrepreneurs addressed a breakout session of the event called Harnessing the Power of Innovation to Achieve SDG14. Syrine Chaalala, co-founder of the French-Tunisian company nextProtein, and Charlotte Dupont, co-founder of the French company BiOceanOr, revealed the ideas that drove their rapidly accelerating startups.

Chalaala’s nextProtein uses food waste to mass-produce insect protein to feed farmed fish in place of fishmeal – the production of which, often from corporate fisheries’ by-catch, can lead to the depletion of ecosystems and the collapse of local fisheries. As our demand for farmed fish is growing 8% a year, her innovation could play a vital role in reducing the knock-on impact of aquaculture on the ocean.

She said that farming insects requires a fraction of the space as animal feed production – 100 square metres of space can produce as much protein as 100 hectares of soy field.

“Because we wanted to have maximum impact, we wanted to provide solutions to other problems,” said Chalaala, naming food waste and land scarcity as two key issues her business tackles. “Here, we can convert 20 kilos of food waste into 1 kilo of product.”

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/virtual-ocean-dialogues-water-forecasting-fish-farms-waste-innovation-blue-economy/

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Society destroyed Jamaica's coral reefs - and divers are breathing life back into it

13 Apr 2020 - These “rainforests” of the oceans are starting to recover, thanks to the efforts of a group of scuba divers who are nurturing young corals in “nurseries” before planting them

13 Apr 2020 - These “rainforests” of the oceans are starting to recover, thanks to the efforts of a group of scuba divers who are nurturing young corals in “nurseries” before planting them back on rocks to rejuvenate the reefs.

  • Jamaica lost 85% of its reefs due to a hurricane, pollution, overfishing and boat damage.
  • “Coral gardeners” are helping to restore the reefs by growing young corals in “nurseries.”
  • Sea urchins and parrotfish, which protect corals, are also making a comeback.

Jamaica’s coral reefs were once a paradise for scuba divers and a haven for marine life from parrotfish to sea snakes. But that was before a sequence of disastrous events deprived the Caribbean island of its coral.

The destruction started in 1980 when category 5 Hurricane Allen, the strongest Caribbean storm of the 20th century, hit Jamaica with winds of over 185 km/h and a 12-metre storm surge.

Just as the coral was starting to recover, in 1983 a mystery disease killed off grazing sea urchins, which kept harmful algae at bay. Pollution, overfishing and boat damage added to the destruction, and eventually 85% of Jamaica’s coral reefs were lost.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/02/undersea-gardeners-are-restoring-jamaicas-lost-coral-reefs

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Why the ocean holds the key to sustainable development

16 Jan 2019 - To meet the SDGs we must harness the oceans' full potential, argues Erna Solberg.

16 Jan 2019 - To meet the SDGs we must harness the oceans' full potential, argues Erna Solberg. "It is only 12 years until 2030, the deadline for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The world has set itself an ambitious task. To reach the SDGs we will have to produce more from the oceans. We need the oceans to provide more food, more jobs and more energy. And we must maintain its capacity to regulate the climate and support biodiversity.

"These are all reasons to manage the oceans better. To build a sustainable ocean economy, we must stop the degradation of the world’s marine ecosystems and improve the environmental status of the oceans. This will require action from all of us.

"The oceans run like a ‘blue thread’ throughout Norwegian history. Sustainable use of the oceans has laid the foundation for Norway’s prosperity and the welfare of our population. Our ocean industries account for more than 70% of Norway's exports.

"We firmly believe that the oceans hold the key to solving many of the most challenging tasks facing the world today. Eradicating hunger and extreme poverty by 2030. Fighting disease and pandemics. Combating climate change. Creating jobs in both developed and developing countries. Ensuring affordable and clean energy for all. Even securing peace and stability."

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/the-oceans-hold-the-key-to-sustai...

 

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The Pacific island of Palau has banned fishing to allow the marine ecosystem to recover

1 Jan 2020 - National marine reserve was announced in 2015, with 80% of its waters being closed to commercial fishing from 2020.

1 Jan 2020 - National marine reserve was announced in 2015, with 80% of its waters being closed to commercial fishing from 2020.

  • Palau will ban fishing on 80% of its marine territory to allow coral reefs to recover and protect coastal areas against the impact of climate change.
  • Fish stocks have already doubled in Palau's protected areas.
  • Almost 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted.

People on the Pacific archipelago of Palau firmly believe in the old saying, "We do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children."

For centuries, they have been managing their delicate marine ecosystem sustainably through the practice of "bul." This involves making certain parts of the reef off-limits to fishing during spawning and feeding to allow its 1,300 species of fish to thrive.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/12/palau-pacific-marine-protected-area-fishing-environment/

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The Netherlands is building ‘solar islands’ to fight rising sea levels

10 Dec 2019 - 15 islands, made up of more than 70,000 solar panels are being built in the Netherlands.

10 Dec 2019 - 15 islands, made up of more than 70,000 solar panels are being built in the Netherlands. The country is adapting to rising sea levels by changing focus from putting solar panels on rooftops and land to water. 

  • 15 islands, made up of more than 70,000 solar panels are being built in the Netherlands.
  • The sun-tracking panels face the sun all day, so they’re able to absorb more energy.

The famous poem “No Man is an Island” – meaning no one is completely self-sufficient – has resonated with Western society since the 17th century. But what if a man is an island comprised of solar panels? The odds of survival would be much higher.

In the Netherlands, the largest solar panel island project to date is currently being developed. Set to consist of 15 islands on the Andijk Reservoir in North Holland, 15 floating solar islands, containing 73,500 panels, will be the first sun-tracking islands of this size in the world.

Arnoud Vandruten, managing director of Floating Solar, a solar panel supplier of the project says the islands are in the engineering phase and will be put into the water in September, October, and November of this year. It’s no coincidence that this adaptation was born in the Netherlands, as people there already live below sea level.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/12/the-netherlands-is-building-solar-islands-to-fight-rising-sea-levels/

PHOTO: REUTERS - The project is set to consist of 73,500 panels. 

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