Ocean Action Hub

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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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Plastic waste from Western countries is poisoning Indonesia

11 Dec 2019 - Indonesia has become a dumping ground for plastic from Australia, Europe and North America.

11 Dec 2019 - Indonesia has become a dumping ground for plastic from Australia, Europe and North America. The waste is burned as fuel by local communities, causing respiratory illness and other long-term health problems for people who inhale the polluted smoke. Research shows pollutants have contaminated Indonesia's food chain.

Every day, people in Western countries in Australia, Europe and North America diligently separate their household plastic waste to be collected and sent for recycling. But much of it isn’t recycled. Instead it is exported – sometimes illegally – to Indonesia and neighbouring countries, polluting the air and affecting the health of local people.

The waste arrives by container, sometimes as a legitimate import, sometimes concealed in other shipments. And it's compounding a domestic plastics problem that generates 9 million tonnes of waste annually.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/12/plastic-waste-indonesia-pollution-health/

IMAGE: Reuters-Plastic is burned on a large scale to ease Indonesia’s overflowing rubbish dumps.