20 Oct Life Below Water will be threatened in 2030?
Healthy oceans and seas are very important for human life. They cover 70 percent of our planet and we need them for food, energy and water. However, the humans had managed to do tremendous damage to this precious resource. We must protect them by eliminating pollution and overfishing and immediately start managing and protecting all marine life around the world responsibly.
In 2015, the United Nations created a movement called the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. There are 17 movements in the SDGs and one of the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals is the Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources.
The oceans power the global system that makes the Earth habitable for mankind. Rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the ocean.
Careful management of this important global resource is a hallmark of a sustainable future. However, at present, there is persistent damage to coastal waters due to pollution, and ocean acidification is having a detrimental effect on ecosystem function and biodiversity. It also has a negative impact on small-scale fisheries.
Saving the oceans must remain our priority. Marine biodiversity is very important for the survival of humans and planet earth. Marine protected areas need to be managed effectively. A good resource and regulation needs to be made to reduce overfishing, marine pollution, and ocean acidification.
Marine conservation and action must not stop even when we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to look at long-term solutions for the overall health of our planet. Our lives depend on a healthy planet.
Ocean health is closely related to human health. According to UNESCO, the ocean can be an ally against COVID-19: Bacteria found in the depths of the ocean are used to conduct rapid tests to detect the presence of COVID-19. And the diversity of species found in the ocean offers great hope for medicine.
This pandemic offers an opportunity to revive the oceans and start building a sustainable ocean economy. A report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific suggests that the temporary shutdown and reduced human mobility and demand for marine resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic could provide the marine environment with much-needed breathing space for the ocean to recover.
The following are facts about Life Below Water quoted from the United Nations:
- The oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 percent of Earth’s water, and represent 99 percent of the planet’s living space by volume.
- The oceans absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans and are influential in resisting the effects of global warming.
- Carbon emissions from human activities cause ocean warming, acidification, and loss of oxygen.
- The oceans have also absorbed more than 90 percent of the excess heat in Earth’s climate system.
- Ocean heat reaches record highs, causing widespread ocean heat waves.
- More than three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
- Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 percent of global GDP.
- Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ more than 200 million people.
- Coastal waters are deteriorating due to pollution and eutrophication. Without concerted efforts, coastal eutrophication is expected to increase to 20 percent of major marine ecosystems by 2050.
- About 80 percent of marine and coastal pollution comes from land including agricultural runoff, pesticides, plastics, and untreated waste.
- Worldwide, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year.
- Around 680 million people live in low-lying coastal zones which are expected to increase to one billion by 2050.
- Sustainable and climate-resilient transportation, including marine transportation, is the key to sustainable development.
- About 80 percent of the volume of international trade in goods is carried out by sea, and the percentage is even higher for most developing countries.