Four United Nations organizations presented a project to preserve oceans and coastal areas threatened with environmental degradation. The document, released during the XXXVI UNESCO General Conference, warns of the danger faced by large aquifers, which play the role of climate regulators and are food sources and support for the economy of millions of people.
According to these organizations, it is necessary to have a plan to improve the management of ocean resources and of coastal areas due to the deterioration of the 60% of marine ecosystems or because they are being used in an inconsistent way with their conservation, causing huge economic and social loss.
The 10 measures listed in the report ‘Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability,' issued by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are as follows:
1. Create a global market for ‘blue carbon’ or carbon dioxide stored in the oceans;
2. Correct problems in governance on the management of the high seas by strengthening the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
3. Support the development of a green economy in small island developing states;
4. Encourage research on ocean acidification to adapt to it and mitigate it;
5. Increase institutional capacities for scientific observation of the oceans and coastal areas;
6. Reform and strengthen regional organizations in the management of ocean resources;
7. Promote responsible fishing and aquaculture in the context of a green economy;
8. Strengthen the legal frameworks to address the problem of invasive aquatic species;
9. 'Green' the economy of nutrients to reduce hypoxia in the oceans and promote food security;
10. Strengthen coordination, coherence and effectiveness of the United Nations in all activities related to oceans.
In June of 2012 it is expected that this plan is approved at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 'Rio + 20'.
According to the authors of the report, the full realization of many of the goals and objectives will require increased efforts by states, intergovernmental organizations and the international community.
They also consider that the current situation is a consequence of the lack of political will and of adequate resources, inadequate institutional capacity, insufficient scientific information and the existence of imbalances in the markets.
For the authors, the 'greening' of the 'blue economy' will be achieved through science and technology.
Anyway, their goal will be successful if responsible policies and effective institutional arrangements are adopted, which will require a greater degree of commitment and funding from the international community, and also from the nations and the business world.
Accumulated fish landings up to September of 2011 totalled 3.3 million tons, that is to say, 7.6% more than in the first nine months of 2010, when 3.1 million tons were landed.