We are damaging the oceans on a scale that is unimaginable to most people. We are now finally all to aware that human activity has serious impacts on the vital forces governing our planet. We have fundamentally changed our global climate and are just beginning to understand the consequences of that.
As yet largely unseen, but just as serious, are the impacts we are having on the oceans.
A healthy ocean has diverse ecosystems and robust habitats. The actual state of our oceans is a far cry from this natural norm.
A myriad of human pressures are being exerted both directly and indirectly on ocean ecosystems the world over. Consequently ecosystems are collapsing as marine species are driven towards extinction and ocean habitats are destroyed. Degraded and stripped of their diversity, ocean ecosystems are losing their inherent resilience.
We need to defend our oceans because without them, life on Earth cannot exist. We have to make fundamental changes to the way our oceans are managed and cared for. We must act to make sure that human activities are sustainable, in other words that they meet human needs of current and future generations without causing harm to the environment. Accordingly, governments must set aside 40 percent of our oceans as marine reserves – which need to be defined as areas of the ocean in which the exploitation of all living resources is prevented, together with the exploitation of non-living resources such as sand and gravel and other minerals.
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