The ocean is under unprecedented stress – on ocean conservation

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Source: This post is created based on the article “‘With every breath we take, we are connected to the ocean. Yet, the ocean is under unprecedented stress”, published in The Times of India on 9th May 2023.

Syllabus Topic – GS Paper 3 – Environment Conservation

Context: The article discusses the challenges of protecting oceans and the role India can play in the marine conservation.

Blue economy refers to our ability to exploit the assets in the ocean sustainably and in a way that will enable us to live in a healthier world.

After reckless exploitation of the land resources, there is a need to make sure that ocean resources do not face similar damage.

What are the current threats to the blue economy of nations?

  • Overfishing and illegal fishing practices,
  • climate change,
  • ocean acidification,
  • plastic pollution,
  • oil spills,
  • habitat destruction,
  • loss of biodiversity
  • unsustainable coastal development

How India’s G20 presidency can be instrumental in ocean conservation?

It can be made possible by reaching to few useful agreements among nations, like:

  1. Providing financial support for the developing nations to adopt sustainable ocean policies and
  2. Investing in capacity building to strengthen ocean governance and management.
  3. Proper implementation of 30×30 campaign. It aims at protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
  4. India can join the Commonwealth’s Blue Charter Action Group. The countries of this group work towards solving ocean-related challenges and meet commitments for sustainable ocean action.

What is the importance of oceans for the survival of human beings and why are they neglected?

First, Oceans produce oxygen, provides food and livelihoods, and stabilises our climate.

Second, the oceans have functioned as coolant, by absorbing most of the trapped heat. However, due to its neglect, the ocean is warming up, which is resulting in more intense hurricanes and cyclones.

Third, if marine exploitation goes on at a similar pace, more than half of the world’s marine species may stand on the brink of extinction by 2100.

UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 is for ocean conservation. However, ocean conservation has received the least funded of all SDGs. The ocean accounts for only 2% of the Green Climate Fund.

All this neglect is because of a lack of understanding of the importance of the ocean for our survival. Therefore, it is facing neglect.

What efforts have been made by the commonwealth for the conservation of oceans?

It created the Blue Charter in 2018 to overcome the issue of lack of funding for ocean conservation.

Commonwealth formed the climate finance access hub. It is at present concentrating on small states which are most vulnerable.

It is also expanding the climate finance access adviser facility by designating ocean advisers.

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