On the concluding day of the first ever United Nations Ocean Conference, WWF calls for unprecedented action to achieve the agreed Ocean sustainable development goal. This comes as member states prepare to endorse a call for action that acknowledges the serious threats to the ocean from overexploitation and climate change, and the need for much greater ambition.
Litter in the seas is a major global environmental problem. In connection with the Ocean Conference in New York, Sweden is joining the Clean Seas Campaign, a global UN Environment initiative to reduce marine litter. Sweden will also provide financial support to UN Environment’s work on the issue.
Every year, the ocean economy has an estimated turnover of between US$3 and 6 trillion. This includes employment, ecosystem services provided by the ocean, and cultural services. It is also estimated that fisheries and aquaculture contribute $US100 billion per year and about 260 million jobs to the global economy.
To many, the oceans seem mysterious and vast. We have certainly treated the blue part of our planet as a limitless pool from which we can draw resources and deposit vast quantities of rubbish, sediment and toxic waste. But there is now clear evidence that not only are our oceans stressed out but also that the destruction of coral reefs, depletion of fish stocks and declining water quality will affect us all.
Surfers are not the only ones who will be enjoying the massive power of the Atlantic Ocean's waves on the Brazilian coast. For the first time in the Americas, ocean waves are to be used to generate electricity - enough for 200 families in the northeastern state of Ceará.
If all goes as planned, by the end of 2006 Brazil will debut the first wave-powered electrical plant in the western hemisphere, churning out a potential of 500 kilowatts.