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Call for Action at UN Ocean Conference

Call for Action at UN Ocean Conference”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is due to attend the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York, USA today (05).

The U.N. chief told presidents, ministers, diplomats and environmental activists from almost 200 countries on Monday that oceans are being severely damaged by pollution, overfishing and the effects of climate change as well as refuse.

The conference opened just days after President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

Marine and coastal ecosystems include marine living resources and important habitats such as coral reefs, sea-grass beds, which are crucial for sustainable oceans and seas.

But despite Trump's decision Thursday, June 1, to end USA participation in the Paris deal, which drew worldwide condemnation, experts at the Pew Charitable Trust said the United States has been a part of crafting a broad "call to action", and is expected to sign it.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that by 2050 the global demand for fresh water is projected to grow by more than 40 percent and at least a quarter of the world's population will live in countries with a "chronic or recurrent" lack of clean water.

The conference has ambitious goals and will result in a joint "Call for Action" to advance efforts towards a sustainable ocean.

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South Africa has an advantage by virtue of its geographical positioning, and is "globally recognised" as unique and a hotspot of biodiversity boasting over 10 000 marine species; however, the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 will be key to its sustainable development.

The United Nations launched its first Ocean Conference in NY on Monday.

"Conserving our oceans and using them sustainably is preserving life itself".

These actions are "the main threat to Mother Earth and to life itself", he said. "The health of our oceans and seas requires us to put aside short-term national gain, to avoid long-term global catastrophe", he added.

The UN chief called for strong political leadership and new partnerships, based on the existing legal framework, and concrete steps, such as expanding marine protected areas and reducing plastic waste pollution.

Also speaking at the opening was Wu Hongbo, the secretary-general of the Ocean Conference, who said that without oceans and seas, there would be no life on the planet. "We will make this great conference the time to which those good stewards of the future will look back on as the turning point, the moment when we began the reversal of that cycle of decline of the Ocean".

Protecting the world's oceans for present and future generations is, in fact, one of the sustainable development goals contained in the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals that were officially adopted.



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