Canadian Consulting Engineer

Save oceans, says UN

June 30, 2006
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Swift and wide -ranging actions are needed to conserve the world's marine environment, say authors of a recently re...

Swift and wide -ranging actions are needed to conserve the world’s marine environment, say authors of a recently released report backed by the UN.
The authors fear humankind’s exploitation of the deep seas and open oceans is rapidly passing the point of no return.
The study, “Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and High Seas,” which was issued jointly by the UN Environment Program and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), argues that the many lessons learned about conserving coastal waters should be adapted and applied right across the marine world, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
“Humankind’s ability to exploit the deep oceans and high seas has accelerated rapidly over recent years. It is a pace of change that has outstripped our institutions and conservation efforts whose primary focus have been coastal waters where, until recently, most human activity like fishing and industrial exploration took place,” said Achim Steiner, the UN Environment Program’s executive director.
“Well over 60 per cent of the marine world and its rich biodiversity, found beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, is vulnerable and at increasing risk,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, acting director general of IUCN.
“Governments must urgently develop the guidelines, rules and actions needed to bridge this gulf. Otherwise we stand to lose and to irrevocably damage unique wildlife and critical ecosystems many of which moderate our very existence on the planet.”


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