WWF calls for ocean protection to avert triple crisis | New

On Thursday, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International called for a coordinated global action plan to avert a triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

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“We are facing a triple crisis. The three crises are all linked because the planet is one interconnected ecosystem. Any pressure on one Earth system will reflect on the rest,” said Marco Lambertini, director of WWF International.

The United Nations Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the governments of Kenya and Portugal and currently taking place in Lisbon, June 27-July 1, aims to mobilize global action for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources, and propel innovative science-based solutions.

The ocean is not only “the lungs of the planet”, but also its greatest carbon sink, a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change. The ocean, which covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, is the planet’s largest biosphere and home to up to 80% of all life in the world. It generates 50% of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90% of the additional heat generated by these emissions.

Earlier this month, members of the World Trade Organization at the 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva reached an agreement to reduce harmful fisheries subsidies that lead to overfishing, an agreement that the WWF director hailed it as a “historic achievement”.

“This is a very important first step, to stop subsidizing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, to end subsidies for overfished stocks, as well as areas of the ocean that are currently not not regulated,” Lambertini said.

“It is in the interests of all, developed economies, developing economies, to come together under a common plan that addresses climate change and the loss of nature. Hopefully government leaders will understand that the only way to tackle these issues is to really agree together on a common plan,” he added.

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