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A Letter to the Oceans in 2030

A letter from scientists, including Patrick Megonigal of George Mason University, calls for immediate action to protect the coastal ecosystems and save the world’s oceans. These ecosystems remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. The carbon is also stored in marine life’s bodies, so protecting them is critical. Yet, many of these ecosystems are threatened by acidification, overfishing, and commercial shipping.

Marine National Monuments

President Biden’s plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 has merit. Marine national monuments provide critical protections for wildlife, habitat, and ecosystems. This national goal can be achieved with full protections for these monuments. But there are significant challenges. The United States currently has a long way to go before its goals are met. We should start by restoring the full protection of our national parks and monuments under the Antiquities Act.

For example, President Obama has quadrupled the size of the Marine National Monument. It’s the largest marine protected area in the world. At the same time, countries set a goal to protect 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2012. But that goal has since been revised to 2020. The original 10-percent target was based on politics rather than science. The goal of protecting 10 percent of our oceans is far too ambitious.

Area-based conservation measures

A new UN target is being considered: 30×30 for oceans and land conservation. The goal is to protect 30 percent of the Earth’s land and oceans by 2030, and to prevent the loss of species and ecosystems. While the 30×30 target is ambitious, it will contribute to several sustainability objectives at once. The goal is based on leading scientific research. If the target is met, it will contribute to the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The current ten-year Strategic Plan for Biodiversity6 of the CBD contains an explicit target. In 2020, we should protect at least 17 percent of terrestrial land and 10 per cent of marine and coastal waters. We must also make sure that we are conserving ecologically representative systems of protected areas that are linked to one another. Area-based conservation has dominated the agenda over the past decade. But we must now focus on the oceans as well.

COVID-19 pandemic

Despite the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. still has many years to get its immunization program back on track. The vaccine was only available for 18 months after the pandemic began, and mass vaccination campaigns in the poorest countries didn’t begin until midway through 2022. Despite the recent COVID-19 pandemic, health disparities have continued to widen, fueling widespread unrest.

A COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound effect on our economic, social, and health systems. In Latin America and the Caribbean, unemployment rates are already high – currently at 8.1%. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that unemployment among workers in this region will hit 11 percent. This means that the need to improve health care systems and increase access to health services will be enormous. With so much at stake, it is critical that the world address this challenge head-on.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It’s time to adopt a new development paradigm to prevent COVID from reoccurring. A shift from emergency response to sustainable pandemic financing and an increased commitment to vaccinate Africa is necessary to prevent COVID. In addition to improving national health systems, COVID-19 pandemic funding will also be critical for achieving this goal.

Call to action on World Oceans Day

The Call to Action on World Oceans Day in 2030 highlights how businesses can promote their commitment to protecting the oceans and achieving gender equality. With less plastic in the ocean and more sustainable methods of using marine resources, businesses should take steps to address this important issue. A World Oceans Day event provides the perfect platform to make that commitment and recognize ocean conservationists. Highlighting projects and encouraging other businesses to get involved will inspire others to take similar actions.

One of the goals of the 2030 Call to Action on World Oceans Day is to ensure oceans remain healthy and diverse. Humans rely on the ocean to produce more than half of our planet’s oxygen and food. The ocean is also vital to our economy. By 2030, 40 million people will be employed by ocean-based industries. Ultimately, it is vital to protect the oceans for future generations.

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