Ocean Action Hub

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Frumil: Need Medicine Cost

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How Pacific Islands are Balancing COVID-19 Demands on Coastal Fisheries with Sustainable Management

13 Oct 2020 - IPS -  Coastal fisheries in the Pacific Islands have become a food and livelihood lifeline to many people who have lost jobs, especially in urban centres and tourism

13 Oct 2020 - IPS -  Coastal fisheries in the Pacific Islands have become a food and livelihood lifeline to many people who have lost jobs, especially in urban centres and tourism, following COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures. Now governments and development organisations are trying to meet the crisis-driven survival needs of here and now, while also considering the long-term consequences on near shore marine resources and habitats.

“In Vanuatu, we don’t have any cases of COVID-19. But around us the world is in lockdown and the incomes indigenous people usually get from tourism have all gone, they have completely come to a halt,” Leias Cullwick, Executive Director of the Vanuatu National Council of Women in Port Vila, told IPS.  Tourism accounts for an estimated 40 percent of Vanuatu’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

 

“But we still have our own land to plant crops and we can get fish from the sea,” she continued.



Subsistence and small-scale commercial fisheries in coastal areas are a crucial source of nutrition and incomes to communities throughout the Pacific Islands. Fifty percent of coastal households in the region gain a primary or secondary income from fishing, while 89 percent of households generally consume seafood on a weekly basis, according to the regional development organisation, the Pacific Community (SPC).

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.ipsnews.net/2020/10/how-the-pacific-islands-are-balancing-covid-19-survival-demands-on-coastal-fisheries-with-sustainable-management/

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Declaration of a National Climate Emergency for Tokelau

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Illicit trade in marine resources keeps billions out of Pacific economies every year

27 Feb 2020 - One in five fish caught in the central western Pacific, which includes the exclusive economic zones of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Cambodia, is illegally traded.

27 Feb 2020 - One in five fish caught in the central western Pacific, which includes the exclusive economic zones of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Cambodia, is illegally traded. Annual losses are estimated at US$6 to 10 billion.

The Pacific Ocean’s marine resources are a source of income, foreign exchange, employment and nutrition to many countries. However, illicit trade of these valuable resources is robbing Pacific Ocean economies of these benefits.

A new paper, The Scale of Illicit Trade in Pacific Ocean Marine Resources, estimates 24 per cent of Pacific Ocean’s marine catch is unreported every year. That’s 15 million tonnes of fish. Up to 50 per cent (or 3.7 million to 7.2 million tonnes) of this unreported catch is illegally traded in international markets every year, directly leading to US$4.3 to 8.3 billion of loss in gross revenues every year to the formal economy.

 

However, these financial losses increase in magnitude if you count the economic activity that would have followed from fish entering the formal economy in that country—with the upshot that the economic impacts of illegal trade in unreported catch could be much bigger than previously thought.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.eco-business.com/opinion/illicit-trade-in-marine-resources-keeps-billions-out-of-pacific-economies-every-year/

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Global heating supercharging Indian Ocean climate system

19 Nov 2019 - Indian Ocean dipole events, linked to bushfires and floods, are becoming stronger and more frequent, scientists say.

19 Nov 2019 - Global heating is “supercharging” an increasingly dangerous climate mechanism in the Indian Ocean that has played a role in disasters this year including bushfires in Australia and floods in Africa.

Scientists and humanitarian officials say this year’s record Indian Ocean dipole, as the phenomenon is known, threatens to reappear more regularly and in a more extreme form as sea surface temperatures rise.

Of most concern are years in which the sea surface off the coast of Africa warms up, provoking increased rains, while temperatures off Australia fall, leading to drier weather.

It is similar to El Niño and La Niña in the Pacific, which cause sharp changes in weather patterns on both sides of the ocean.

Caroline Ummenhofer, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts who has been a key figure in efforts to understand the importance of the dipole, said unique factors were at play in the Indian Ocean compared with other tropical regions.

While ocean currents and winds in the Atlantic and Pacific can disperse heating water, the large Asian landmass to the north of the Indian Ocean makes it particularly susceptible to retaining heat. “It’s quite different to the tropical Atlantic and tropical Pacific events. There you have you have steady easterly trade winds. In the Indian Ocean that’s not the case,” Ummenhofer said.

“There is a certain season where you have easterly winds. Otherwise you have seasonally reversing monsoon winds, which makes for very different dynamics.”

Recent research suggests ocean heat has risen dramatically over the past decade, leading to the potential for warming water in the Indian Ocean to affect the Indian monsoon, one of the most important climate patterns in the world.

“There has been research suggesting that Indian Ocean dipole events have become more common with the warming in the last 50 years, with climate models suggesting a tendency for such events to become more frequent and becoming stronger,” Ummenhofer said.

She said warming appeared to be “supercharging” mechanisms already existing in the background. “The Indian Ocean is particularly sensitive to a warming world. It is the canary in the coalmine seeing big changes before others come to other tropical ocean areas.”

Australian climatologists have pointed to this year’s dipole as at least one of the contributing factors in the bushfires. Jonathan Pollock, of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, said this dipole was “up there as one of the strongest” on record.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/nov/19/global-heating-supercharging-indian-ocean-dipole-climate-system

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Pacific islands seek $500m to make ocean's shipping zero carbon

24 Sept 2019 - Coalition of six nations aims to raise funds and achieve full decarbonisation by 2050.

24 Sept 2019Coalition of six nations aims to raise funds and achieve full decarbonisation by 2050.

A coalition of Pacific island nations wants to raise $500m (£400m) to make all shipping in the Pacific Ocean zero carbon by the middle of the century.

The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership, announced on Tuesday by the governments of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, has set an emissions reduction target of 40% by 2030, and full decarbonisation by 2050.

The partnership intends to raise money through grants from multinational institutions, concessional loans, direct private sector investment and through issuing regional “blue bonds”.

The money would be used to retrofit existing passenger and cargo ferries with low-carbon technologies, and to buy new zero-emissions vessels. Pacific island populations are dependent on shipping for travel, medicines, their livelihoods and connection to the outside world.

Such countries are precariously dependent on imported fossil fuels and acutely vulnerable to price shocks or supply disruptions. The region imports 95% of its fuels. Imported petroleum accounts for an average of 40% of GDP in Pacific island countries, with the transport sector the largest fuel user.

In archipelago states of small island populations spread over vast ocean distances, sea travel is vital for linking communities and for economic development. The lack of regular connectivity between islands is a major constraint on domestic, social and economic development and on international trade.

The climate crisis is making travel significantly more difficult and disrupted. Rising sea levels and the increased frequency of dangerous weather are making sea journeys more difficult and slower, leading to more frequent cancellations of journeys and damaging ageing transport infrastructure such as ports and refuelling facilities.

A joint Fiji-Marshall Islands government briefing paper said that compared with other major economic sectors, “investment in the sustainable development of sea transport for Pacific island countries has been extremely limited to date”.

“A transition to sustainable, resilient and decarbonised sea transport at this scale will require substantial investment, including at least $500m to support implementation of the 10-year work programme.”

The Marshall Islands environment minister, David Paul, told a forum at the UN climate action summit in New York that securing funding would spark a “rapid transformation of our … shipping sector”.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/24/pacific-islands-seek-500m-ocean-shipping-zero-carbon

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Climate change in Asia and the Pacific. What’s at stake?
20 Sept 2019 - Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world.
With extensive coastlines, low-lying territories, and many small island states, its geography makes it highly susceptible to rising sea levels and weather extremes.

Heat waves, floods, and droughts affect every aspect of life, from nutrition and health, to safety and income.

Unlike developed countries, many nations in Asia and the Pacific cope with the effects of climate change while at the same time trying to raise living standards.

While Asia-Pacific’s poorer communities contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions, they are the ones feeling the consequences of climate change the most. Unpredictable weather patterns can lead to failing crops, spiking food prices, and spreading diseases that threaten to wipe out decades of development gains.

Continue reading online here: https://medium.com/@UNDP/climate-change-in-asia-and-the-pacific-whats-at-stake-47c7b0de5ade

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New threat from ocean acidification emerges in the Southern Ocean

27 Aug 2019 - The oceans act as a carbon sink and have already absorbed more than 40% of anthropogenic carbon emissions.

27 Aug 2019 - The oceans act as a carbon sink and have already absorbed more than 40% of anthropogenic carbon emissions. The majority of this CO2 has been taken up by the Southern Ocean making these waters hotspots of ocean acidification (OA).

Lead author of the paper published in Nature Climate Change, Dr. Katherina Petrou from the University of Technology Sydney, said that although changes in  pH have been shown to impact marine calcifying organisms, the consequences for non-calcifying  are less clear.

"Previous studies reported a range of responses to OA [in phytoplankton] yet rarely considered how environmental pH shifts might affect silicification rates in diatoms," she says.

"Diatoms are unique phytoplankton in that they need silicic acid to produce silica cell walls. Under the microscope they look like beautiful glass jewellery boxes, but importantly, this dense, glass-like armour promotes sinking, which makes diatoms an important conduit for transport of carbon to the where it can be stored for millennia."

Diatoms are responsible for around 40% of ocean productivity which means they play a major role in supporting marine food webs, sustaining life for millions of creatures, including humans.

"The only genuine way to circumvent this outcome, is to cut our greenhouse gas emissions and limit the acidification of our oceans," the researchers say.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://phys.org/news/2019-08-threat-ocean-acidification-emerges-southern.html

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UNDP launches Accelerator Lab for the Pacific

23 Aug 2019 - Focus is on challenges including climate change and climate migration, costal zone and oceans management, waste management, government digitalization and the economy.

23 Aug 2019 - Focus is on challenges including climate change and climate migration, costal zone and oceans management, waste management, government digitalization and the economy.

It’s the dawn of a new era for innovation in the Pacific. Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji launches it’s first-ever Accelerator Lab for the Pacific region. The Accelerator Labs represent UNDP’s new strategy and thinking in relation to development and advocating bolder innovation.

The new Lab will be one of 60 labs worldwide that seek to accelerate progress towards 21st century “frontier challenges”, which is building to be the world’s largest and fastest learning network around development challenges.

The Resident Representative for the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Levan Bouadze said “The challenges and complexities of our time leave us no choice but to invest in bold innovation and breakthroughs, to ensure no one is left behind.”

Together with our core partners, the State of Qatar, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of Italy, 60 Accelerator Labs serving 78 countries will work together with national, regional and global partners to find new approaches that fit the complexity of current development challenges.  

Traditional approaches to development are struggling to keep up with today’s social and environmental challenges therefore, the new Labs will try to address the following questions:

·         How do we better tackle complex and fast-moving “frontier challenges”?

·         How do we find the most relevant solutions that work locally?

·         How do we learn more quickly about what works and what doesn’t?

Essentially the Lab moves innovation from the margins to the center of UNDP’s programming work.

“Our current approaches are not making enough progress against 21st century frontier development challenges,” said Bouadze. Hence, the Lab intends to enable programmes to apply innovation approaches in their work, and shift mindsets on ‘how development is done’.

The Lab forms a learning network of 60 Accelerator Labs across the world where offices can learn rapidly from each other on what works and what doesn’t.

Furthermore, if multiple Labs are working on a challenge in parallel, they benefit from each other’s learning in real-time, creating a powerful collective learning effect.