Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα oceans. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα oceans. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, Φεβρουαρίου 06, 2015

Russian expert says no global warming over past fourteen years

There is been no global warming over the past fourteen years but scientists are divided in their assessments of the impact of human activity on the condition of climate, Dr. Robert Nigmatulin, the director of the Institute of Oceanic Studies reporting to the Russian Academy of Sciences said on Thursday...

"Manmade concentration of carbon dioxide is really growing," he said adding that this gas did contribute to the greenhouse effect, although it was increasing the atmospheric temperatures but insignificantly.

However, these slightly heightened concentrations intensified evaporation of water from the surface of the world ocean and the increase of concentration of aqueous vapor, which was producing a strong greenhouse effect.

"In the meantime, there has been no greenhouse effect over the past fourteen years," Dr. Nigmatulin said. "One of the explanations is the rising concentrations of aqueous vapor naturally bring about a thickening of the cloud cover, which in its turn increases reflection of solar light by the atmosphere."

"Quite possibly, a mechanism of this kind is in action now," he said. "I’m scrutinizing it now but I can’t give you more precise information yet."

"On the whole, the research community is split into two camps now, one saying that man is to blame for the global warming and the other insisting that, no, the anthropogenic factor does not play a decisive role in climate warming," Dr. Nigmatulin said.

 http://itar-tass.com/en/non-political/775806
6/2/15
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Παρασκευή, Δεκεμβρίου 26, 2014

Asia Marks 10th Anniversary of Tsunami (UN says world better prepared for natural disasters)

Beach side memorials, moments of silence, and religious services are planned across Asia on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 220,000 people in 2004.
The gigantic wave stuck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim. It destroyed entire coastal communities, wiped out families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas.

The disaster was triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, the region's most powerful in 40 years, that sent waves roaring across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds as far away as East Africa. It was so powerful that it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters.

The tsunami led separatist rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province to lay down their arms in order to rebuild their lives. The three-decade rebellion against Indonesia ended in 2005, after having claimed 15,000 lives.

Indonesia was hardest hit by the tsunami, with more than 160,000 dead. Thousands more were killed in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
   [ voanews.com]
   26/12/14 
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  • Marking 10 years since Indian Ocean tsunami, UN says world better prepared for natural disasters...

It has been ten years since a massive tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean killing more than 200,000 people and devastating coastline communities from Indonesia to Somalia, and yet the world today is much better prepared to mitigate such disasters, senior United Nations officials have declared.

“Ten years after the Indian Ocean tsunami, the world has taken significant measures to make the world a safer place against disasters,” confirmed Margareta Wahlström, the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), in a press release issued today to mark the anniversary.

“We now have more efficient early warning systems and better evacuation procedures in place,” she added. “There is also greater understanding and awareness globally of the broad damage that disasters can inflict on our societies.”

The world's worst recorded natural disaster hit the Asia Pacific region in December 2004, claiming the lives of 227,000 people and leaving the livelihoods of some 1.4 million survivors in tatters. While the immediate economic loss caused by the event was estimated at $9.9 billion, the tsunami has also inflicted long-term environmental and development harm as salt water contaminated the land, wiping out agriculture and damaging forests and ecosystems...................http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49691#.VJ3GZcw7I
26/12/14

Asia Marks 10th Anniversary of Tsunami

Beach side memorials, moments of silence, and religious services are planned across Asia on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 220,000 people in 2004.

The gigantic wave stuck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim. It destroyed entire coastal communities, wiped out families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas.
The disaster was triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, the region's most powerful in 40 years, that sent waves roaring across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds as far away as East Africa. It was so powerful that it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters.

The tsunami led separatist rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province to lay down their arms in order to rebuild their lives. The three-decade rebellion against Indonesia ended in 2005, after having claimed 15,000 lives.

Indonesia was hardest hit by the tsunami, with more than 160,000 dead. Thousands more were killed in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
[ voanews.com]
26/12/14 
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Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 02, 2014

Warming Oceans Impact Future of Shrimp

Shrimp is America’s most popular seafood, but now it seems like the bad news for shrimp lovers is coming from every direction. Last winter, higher water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine forced the cancellation of Maine’s Northern shrimp season, and now scientists are saying it could happen again. And a new report from Oceana, which did DNA testing on 143 shrimp products, found that as much as 30 percent of shrimp sold in grocery stores and markets is being misrepresented, with species substitution rampant...................ecowatch.com

Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 08, 2014

Scientists Discover World’s Oceans Warming Faster Than Predicted

The oceans are warming faster than previously thought, according to a pair of new studies released this weekend and published in the scientific journal Natural Climate Change. This conclusion is largely due to enhanced information gathering in the southern oceans, which was limited in the past. The research teams compared previous ocean warming figures, based on the less complete data, with projections based on information they were able to obtain from more detailed studies. They found that from 1970 through 2004, increases in ocean temperatures exceeded those earlier figures.


“The global ocean stores more than 90 percent of the heat associated with observed greenhouse-gas-attributed global warming,” opens the summary of the study “Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming,” produced by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology.
They conclude that studies of global ocean warming since 1970 are low. “This underestimation is attributed to poor sampling of the Southern Hemisphere, and limitations of the analysis methods that conservatively estimate temperature changes in data-sparse regions,” they say. “Making adjustments to their model, based on recent access to additional information, they say “yields large increases to current global upper-ocean heat content change estimates, and have important implications for sea level, the planetary energy budget and climate sensitivity assessments.”

The other study, “Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade,” also by CalTech scientists, attempted to measure the amount of sea level rise attributable to upper ocean vs deep ocean warming and when that warming occurred. Sea level rise occurs as warmer water expands.
“As the dominant reservoir of heat uptake in the climate system, the world’s oceans provide a critical measure of global climate change,” says the study’s summary.

They found that the deep ocean may not have gotten warmer in the last decade, but significant warming has occurred in the upper level of the ocean. They acknowledge “large uncertainty” in their calculations about the deep ocean since they were extrapolated from information based primary on upper ocean measurements.

“It’s likely that due to the poor observational coverage, we just haven’t been able to say definitively what the long-term rate of Southern Hemisphere ocean warming has been,” lead author  of the first study Dr. Paul Durack told the BBC. “It’s a really pressing problem—we’re trying as hard as we can, as scientists, to provide the best information from the limited observations we have.”
Anastasia Pantsios | October 6, 2014 10:10 am
http://ecowatch.com
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Κυριακή, Οκτωβρίου 05, 2014

THE TIME TO INVEST IN OCEAN ENERGY IS NOW

(Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)

" It has become clear over the past years that our seas and oceans can generate huge economic growth and create jobs, much needed in these times. That is why we have been working for the past five years on our Blue Growth strategy to foster sustainable blue economy. Ocean energy is part of this strategy. It is a very promising sector, capable to exploit an indigenous, predictable, safe source of clean energy.

Earlier this year, in April, we launched an Action plan on blue energy. Part of it is the creation of the Ocean Energy Forum, gathering all stakeholders to cooperate and elaborate the further development of the sector.

This Wednesday I was proud to take part in the very first high-level meeting of this Ocean Energy Forum. Together with EU Ministers and stakeholders we discussed the ways of overcoming the challenges of ocean energy but also the progress made.

I am convinced the time is now.

I told the stakeholders I met on Wednesday to “get ready”. We have set up a good basis for ocean energy, very much appreciated after the Ukrainian conflict. It is clear that renewable energy is the future the EU wants to invest in. There is an open door for blue energy to become an EU success story."
Maria Damanaki's blog  
http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/3/10/14
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Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 03, 2014

Commission proposes moderate decrease in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2015-2016 to protect vulnerable species

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 3 October 2014:

The European Commission has today proposed fishing opportunities for deep-sea fish stocks in EU and international waters in the North-East Atlantic for 2015-2016. In line with scientific advice, the Commission proposes an increase of total allowable catches (TACs) for 4 stocks, a decrease for 9 stocks, and a status quo for 5 stocks as compared to 2014. For 4 stocks, mainly deep-sea sharks, the proposal does not yet contain a figure, because scientific advice will be delivered later this month.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Deep sea ecosystems and fish stocks are particularly vulnerable to human activities, such as fishing, and need appropriate protection. Hence, sustainable management is the only way we can ensure the future of deep-sea fisheries. It is good news that the scientific advice allows for increases for a number of these stocks, but unfortunately the situation is bleak for most other stocks. We look forward to continue working with the Member States to improve the knowledge on these stocks, and to work towards sustainable deep-sea fisheries."
 
For the important stock of Roundnose grenadiers West of the British Isles, scientific advice on how to achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield is available. Based on this, the Commission proposes a moderate cut for this stock (-12%), which should allow it to be fished at sustainable levels in 2015. For 2016 a small increase will be possible (+2%). For 4 stocks of Greater forkbeard, the Commission proposes 10% increases. 

For a number of other stocks, data is limited and a precautionary approach implies significant cuts to protect the stocks. This is especially the case for Red seabream in the areas West of Portugal and around the Azores. The scientific advice for the area West Portugal even calls for the development of a recovery plan.

The Commission's proposals are based on scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). However, available data for most deep-sea stocks are insufficient to allow scientists to fully assess the stock status, either in terms of number of fish or fishing mortality. 

Background
Deep-sea fish are slow-growing and long-lived, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing. They are caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds of continental shelves. They are distributed on the continental slopes or associated with seamounts.
Fishing for deep-sea species has been regulated by the European Union since 2003. Deep-sea fisheries account for about 1% of fish landed from the North-East Atlantic. The catches – and related jobs - have been declining for years, due to depleted stocks.
The poor state of key deep-sea stocks and the lack of scientific data clearly demonstrates that a better management framework for deep-sea fisheries, as proposed by the Commission in 2012 (see IP/12/813), remains highly necessary.
 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1084_en.htm?locale=en
3/10/14

Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 25, 2014

US to create world's largest marine reserve in Pacific

The United States is to create the world's largest marine reserve, stretching over about 1 million 270,000 square kilometres of the Pacific ocean, the White House press service said.

US President Barack Obama will sign the bill on Thursday, setting out plans for a new environmental zone encompassing seven desert islands and coral atolls existing under US juridiction.


The current Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument territory between the Hawaiian islands and Samoa will be expanded sixfold to become a marine-protected area (MPA).The zone will ban any business activity there, including commercial fishing and mining operations.

American scientists believe the region has a tropical marine environment with unique animal and vegetal life that needs protection, seeking to defend deep-sea coral reefs thought most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/751198
25/9/14
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Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 09, 2014

UN: Greenhouse Gases Hit Record Levels Last Year. (Large percentage of carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the oceans)

The United Nations says surging carbon dioxide emissions sent greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to record levels last year.

In its annual report on greenhouse gas concentrations released Tuesday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said carbon dioxide levels between 2012 and 2013 marked the largest yearly increase since reliable global records began 30 years ago.

A large percentage of carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the oceans.


In a statement accompanying the report, WMO chief Michel Jarraud warned that "past, present and future carbon dioxide emissions will have a cumulative impact on global warming and ocean acidification." He said the "laws of physics are non-negotiable."

Many scientists believe that increased greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming, or the warming of the atmosphere. Jarraud has said there is no doubt that global temperatures are rising.
http://www.voanews.com/content/un-greenhouse-gases-hit-record-levels/2443400.html
9/9/14
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Τρίτη, Ιουλίου 08, 2014

Maritime surveillance: Joining forces with Member States for safer seas and oceans

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 8 July 2014:

The European Commission today took a further step towards more effective and cost-efficient surveillance of European Seas. By bringing together surveillance data from civil and military authorities like coast guards, navies, traffic monitoring, environmental and pollution monitoring, fisheries and border control, duplication of work can be avoided and savings of up to €400 million per year can be made.
Increased cooperation and sharing of data would help cope more efficiently with real time events at sea such as accidents, pollution incidents, crime or security threats. CISE, the Common Information Sharing Environment for the maritime domain, aims at making all the relevant actors come together and share data. CISE is one of the building blocks of the recently adopted European Maritime Security Strategy

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: Sustainable economic growth within the maritime sector can only be ensured if our seas and oceans are safe and secure. CISE aims to make sure that all involved maritime surveillance actors have a complete picture of all events at sea. Sharing such information is key to avoid duplication in collection of data and for the use of patrol ships, planes, helicopters or satellites in the same sea areas. Today, about 40% of information is collected several times and 40% to 80% of information is not shared amongst the interested users. We cannot afford such a waste of efforts and money". 

Today's Communication by the Commission presents the good progress made at EU and national level since the CISE roadmap was elaborated in 2010 and the strong commitment of all actors in this field. It also proposes guidance and priorities for further action both at national and EU levels. Main focus should be to further enhance information exchange – in particular between civil and military authorities, to better interconnect existing maritime surveillance systems and make them inter-operational. This will bring increased efficiency, quality, responsiveness and co-ordination of maritime surveillance operations in EU waters as well as any other geographical area where the EU has a vital interest. It will help create a safer investment climate for blue growth and enhance the prosperity and security of EU citizens.
In the near future, the Commission intends to launch a project under the EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research in order to test Maritime CISE on a large scale. .........................http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-782_en.htm?locale=en
8/7/14
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Aprobada ruta definitiva del Gran Canal Interoceánico de Nicaragua (albergaría el 5% de tráfico internacional de buques)

La ruta escogida para la construcción del Gran Canal Interoceánico cruzaría a Nicaragua de este a oeste, partiendo desde la desembocadura del río Punta Gorda (Caribe) hasta la desembocadura del río Brito, en Rivas (Pacífico).

El canal superará más de tres veces los 77 kilómetros de su análogo en Panamá. Pasará a través del Gran Lago Cocibolca y de sus afluentes, la zona de libre comercio en Brito, por el complejo turístico en San Lorenzo y el aeropuerto en Rivas, uniendo dos puertos en el Pacífico y el Caribe.


El ingeniero del proyecto del canal, Dong Yung Song, aseguró que la construcción causará el menor impacto posible en los recursos hídricos, ya que después de su construcción se formará un lago artificial, Atlanta, semejante al lago Gatún de Panamá, que suministrará el agua para la operación del canal y "se puede desarrollar como centro de ecología del turismo y sede de acuicultura".

Este canal de paso Interoceánico, albergaría el 5 por ciento de tráfico internacional de buques, es decir, unos 5 mil 100 barcos. que tardarás unas 30 horas en cruzarlo.

La construcción del Gran Canal generará unos 200 mil empleos, y se estima una inversión de más de 40 mil millones de dólares. Asimismo la empresa china planea terminar las obras en 2019 y ponerlo en servicio en 2020.

[telesurtv.net]
8/7/14
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  • Grand $40 billion project of Atlantic-Pacific Nicaragua Canal finally completed
The final mega-project of the grand trans-oceanic waterway Nicaragua Canal, a new alternative to the Panama Canal, which will connect the Pacific coast of Nicaragua with the Caribbean Sea, has been successfully presented in the country’s capital and estimated by the authorities at $40 billion.

The company HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment, which is financing the project, plans to start construction works in December this year, said the company’s official representatives on Monday. According to several America’s independent sources, Russia will also join China to help construct the canal.

However, Russia will provide not so much economic and organizational assistance as military and political support, for it will establish a base in Nicaragua to guard the construction site against possible acts of provocation. Moreover, Russian warships and aircrafts will be allowed to be present in the country’s territorial waters and coastline.

The canal will enable 5,100 big-tonnage ships from the Atlantic to reach the Pacific coast in 30 hours. The Nicaragua Canal will be 278 kilometers long and from 230 to 520 meters wide, flowing from Brito on the country’s Pacific coast to the estuary of the Punta Gorda river. The canal’s depth will be reaching up to 30 meters.

Consequently, two deep-sea ports in Brito and Punto Agila, located on the Pacific and the Atlantic coast respectively, will be constructed within the project. They will be thoroughly protected from earthquakes, very frequent in the region. These two ports will enable the transportation of 2.8 billion tonnes of cargo per annum.

A free trade zone, an airport, an oil pipeline, and other facilities are also to be built as part of the project, providing 130,000 Nicaragua citizens with new job places. The project will boost tourism in the country and stimulate the influx of foreign visitors as well.
[ MEXICO, July 08. /ITAR-TASS]
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Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 25, 2014

OCEAN HEALTH: LET´S SEIZE THIS INTERNATIONAL MOMENTUM

.....Just last week, President Obama announced the US commitment to fight illegal fishing and to establish a marine protected area in the Pacific. 

This week, I am in New York for the launch of the “Global Ocean Commission” (GOC) report on global ocean governance and we’ll continue the discussion on 30 June in Brussels. 


There is more talk in the media and the international community about protecting our oceans. From an EU perspective, I can only applaud these initiatives: we have been at the forefront to fight for ocean health in the last years. To get serious on global ocean governance, we need more of that...................Maria Damanaki's blog - European Commission

Τρίτη, Ιουνίου 24, 2014

Plastic waste causes $13 billion in annual damage to marine ecosystems, says UN agency


UN, 23 June 2014 – Concern is growing over widespread plastic waste that is threatening marine life – with conservative yearly estimates of $13 billion in financial damage to marine ecosystems, according to two reports issued at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly.
“Plastic contamination threatens marine life, tourism, fisheries and businesses,” underscores the eleventh edition of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Year Book, which updates 10 issues previously highlighted over the past decade and provides mitigation steps for each.

“Plastics undoubtedly play a crucial role in modern life, but the environmental impacts of the way we use them cannot be ignored,” added Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.
Valuing Plastic, a UNEP-supported report produced by the Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) and Trucost, makes the business case for managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry. 

“Over 30 per cent of the natural capital costs are due to greenhouse gas emissions from raw material extraction and processing,” says the report, adding “marine pollution is the largest downstream cost, with the $13 billion figure most likely a significant underestimate.”
Calculating the negative financial impact of issues, such as marine environment or air pollution caused by incinerating plastic, the report reveals that the overall natural capital cost in the consumer goods sector each year is $75 billion.

A large and unquantifiable amount of plastic waste enters the ocean from littering, poorly managed landfills, tourist activities and fisheries. Some of this material sinks to the ocean floor, while some floats and can travel over great distances on ocean currents – polluting shorelines and accumulating in massive mid-ocean gyres.
“These reports show that reducing, recycling and redesigning products that use plastics can bring multiple green economy benefits: from reducing economic damage to marine ecosystems and the tourism and fisheries industries – vital for many developing countries – to bringing savings and opportunities for innovation to companies while reducing reputational risks,” advocated Mr. Steiner.

There have been many reliable reports of environmental damage due to plastic waste that include mortality or illness when ingested by sea creatures such as turtles; entanglement of animals, such as dolphins and whales; and damage to critical habitats, such as coral reefs.
There are also concerns about chemical contamination, invasive species spread by plastic fragments and economic damage to the fishing and tourism industries in many countries by, for example, fouling fishing equipment and polluting beaches.
Since the 2011 UNEP Year Book last reviewed plastic waste in the ocean, concern has grown over microplastics (particles up to 5 mm in diameter, either manufactured or created when plastic fragments), which have been ingested by marine organisms – including seabirds, fish, mussels, worms and zooplankton. 

“One emerging issue is the increasing use of microplastics directly in consumer products, such as ‘microbeads’ in toothpaste, gels and facial cleansers,” explains the UNEP Year Book. “These microplastics tend not to be filtered out during sewage treatment, but are released directly into rivers, lakes and the ocean.”
Communities of microbes have been discovered thriving on microplastics at multiple locations in the North Atlantic – where the “plastisphere” can facilitate the transport of harmful microbes, pathogens and algal species.

The Yearbook affirms that “microplastics have also been identified as a threat to larger organisms, such as the endangered northern right whale, which is potentially exposed to ingestion through filter-feeding.”
Production trends, use patterns and changing demographics are expected to cause increasing plastic use, and both reports call for companies, institutions and consumers to reduce their waste.

Valuing Plastic finds that while consumer goods companies currently save $4 billion each year through good plastic management, such as recycling, plastic use disclosure is poor. Less than half of the 100 companies assessed reported any data relevant to plastic.
“The research unveils the need for companies to consider their plastic footprint, just as they do for carbon, water and forestry,” said Andrew Russell, Director of the PDP. “By measuring, managing and reporting plastic use and disposal through the PDP, companies can mitigate the risks, maximize the opportunities, and become more successful and sustainable.”
Initiatives such as the PDP and UNEP-led Global Partnership on Marine Litter have helped raise awareness of, and begun to address, the issue. However, much more needs to be done.
Recommendations of the reports include that companies monitor their plastic use and publish the results in annual reports; and commit to reducing the environmental impact of plastic through clear targets, deadlines and efficiency and recycling innovations.
Since plastic particles can be ingested by marine organisms and potentially accumulate and deliver toxins through the food web, efforts should be stepped up to fill the knowledge gaps and better understand the capacity of various plastics to absorb and transfer persistent, toxic and bioaccumulating chemicals. 

“By putting a financial value on impacts – such as plastic waste – companies can further integrate effective environmental management into mainstream businesses,” asserted Trucost Chief Executive Richard Mattison. “By highlighting the savings from reuse and recycling, it builds a business case for proactive sustainability improvements.”
 un.org
23/6/14
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Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 18, 2014

Obama to create world's largest marine sanctuary in Pacific

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced plans to create what could be the world's largest marine sanctuary in the south-central Pacific Ocean in an effort to protect the ocean and its marine ecosystems.

Obama announced his executive actions in a video message to those present at the second and final day of the two-day "Our Ocean" conference hosted by the U.S. State Department, which focused on sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification.
"We've already shown that when we work together, we can protect our oceans for future generations. So let's redouble our efforts," Obama said.

The White House in a background statement said the Obama administration is considering how to "expand protections near the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south- central Pacific Ocean, an area which contains some of the most pristine tropical marine environments in the world."

The administration will consider the input of fishermen, scientists, conservation experts, elected officials, and other stakeholders "before making decisions about the geographic scope and details," it added.

The Washington Post, however, reported that Obama is looking at expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from almost 87,000 square miles (225,328 square kilometers) to nearly 782,000 square miles (2.03 million square kilometers) and that the plan will affect seven islands and atolls controlled by the United States.

The newspaper also said that the plan, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, is likely to spark a new political battle with Republicans over the scope of Obama's executive powers.

Obama also said he is directing federal agencies to develop a comprehensive program aimed at deterring illegal fishing, addressing seafood fraud, and preventing illegally caught fish from entering the marketplace by increasing traceability and transparency.

According to the White House statement, black market fishing constitutes up to 20 percent of the wild marine fish caught each year around the world, and drains up to 23 billion U.S. dollars from legitimate fishing enterprises.

Kerry explained at the ocean meeting that the announcement by Obama to deal with illegal fishing will ensure that "all seafood sold in the United States is both sustainable and traceable, meaning customers will know exactly who caught it, where and when. "

"We can all do more, and if there's no market, we have an ability to really to be able to diminish the impact of illegal and undocumented, unwarranted fishing, and we want to do that," Kerry said.

He said nations at the conference have pledged to invest a total of 1.4 billion dollars towards protecting our ocean. In addition, including Obama's announcement, marine protections will be extended to cover more than 3 million square kilometers in the Pacific Ocean.

"We need to do more," Kerry told the heads of state, ministers, scientists, and industry representatives from about 80 countries at the conference. "But that is a terrific start."
WASHINGTON, June 17 (Xinhua)
[cntv.cn] 
18/6/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 09, 2014

World Oceans Day 2014 (U.S. State Department)

John Kerry, Secretary of State, June 8, 2014:

"World Oceans Day is a time to pause and focus on protecting our ocean: our planet’s most extraordinary ecosystem.
Life as we know it wouldn't be possible were it not for our ocean. We depend on the ocean for life’s essentials: the food we eat and the air that we breathe. It provides jobs for millions of people around the world, and a home for countless unique species.


The wonders of the ocean were impressed upon me at an early age in Massachusetts. my father taught me how to fish, and my mother taught me what happens when trash dumped into the ocean ends back up on the shore or kills sea turtles. I learned much more as a Senator working for fishing families that saw their way of life threatened when the oceans weren't properly protected.

We all have a responsibility to protect our ocean against the threats of overfishing, marine pollution, and ocean acidification. The entire system is interdependent, and we ignore that fact at our peril.
The bad news is that our ocean is in trouble. The good news is that we know what’s threatening it, and we know what we need to do in order to deal with these threats.

It’s not lost on any of us that we haven’t yet achieved the political consensus necessary to spur action. And, frankly, we know there’s no way that governments are going to tackle these enormous challenges alone. We need grassroots action to push us over the finish line, and that includes action from businesses, students, community groups, and advocacy and research organizations.

As Secretary of State, I am committed to doing everything I can to leave a healthy, thriving ocean for our children and future generations. But we need to do this together. One week from tomorrow, on June 16-17, I will host the “Our Ocean” conference. We’re bringing together high-level representatives from governments around the world, scientists, the environmental community, industry, and other stakeholders to address the challenges of sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification, and how we can work together to solve them.

Every action counts. It’s our ocean to share and that means we each share the responsibility to act as its steward. So - please pause - enjoy - celebrate - and let’s commit to work together as we chart a new way forward for a healthy ocean and a secure, prosperous planet."

[State Department]
8/6/14
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Κυριακή, Ιουνίου 08, 2014

"One planet, one ocean – together, we must protect them", urges UN on World Oceans Day

UN,  8 June 2014 – To commemorate World Oceans Day, the United Nations family is encouraging the international community to reflect on the multiple benefits of oceans and commit to keeping them healthy and productive for current and future generations.

“We have to ensure that oceans continue to meet our needs without compromising those of future generations,” stressed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message marking the Day, adding “their depths hold current and future solutions to humanity's energy needs.”


Oceans regulate the planet's climate while providing a significant source of nutrition and essential passage for global trade. World Oceans Day is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of the oceans for life on earth and to stand up for their protection.

Oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, and are important economically for countries that rely on tourism, fishing and other marine resources for income, and serve as the backbone of international trade.

Unfortunately, human pressures, including overexploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the world's oceans and seas.

In her message, Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), emphasized that “at a time of rising threats, 'business as usual' is no longer acceptable – we must change how we understand, manage and use ocean resources and coastal areas. For this, we need to know more about the ocean and draw on stronger science to craft sustainable, ecosystem-based policies for the ocean and coasts.”

The UN General Assembly has recognized oceans and seas as an important part of sustainable development – as envisioned by the Millennium Declaration and it landmark anti-poverty Goals (MDGs). Looking now to craft a successor post-2015 sustainable development agenda, Member States have identified protecting oceans as one of the keys to creating a better, cleaner future for the planet.

“Billions of humans, plants and animals depend on our oceans each and every day,” said General Assembly President John W. Ashe in his message. “I call on Member States and other stakeholders to continue to take action to protect our oceans by reducing pollution, and protecting marine life for present and future generations.” he added.

Since 2009, the UN family has come together each year, urging communities to ensure that our oceans remain clean and healthy. This year's theme “Together we have the power to protect the ocean!” underscores the power of collaboration.

This year, the observance coincides with the 20th anniversary of the entry-into-force of the landmark UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – known as “Constitution for the Oceans” – that provides a comprehensive legal regime for all ocean activities. It is also the International Year of Small Island Developing States.

The ocean is essential to our well-being and the future of our planet. World Oceans Day is an occasion for all Governments and societies to join forces in ensuring its protection.

“One planet, one ocean – together, we have the power to protect them both,” exhorted Ms. Bokova.

[un.org]
8/6/14
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Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 06, 2014

World Environment Day: Parliament's non-stop fight against climate change

“Raise your voice, not the sea level” is the motto of this year´s World Environment Day, which calls attention to the impact climate change has on small islands. The day is held on 5 June every year to raise awareness and encourage people to act to protect the environment. The European Parliament has been at the forefront of the world´s response to global warming, by adopting legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by guiding the EU towards a low-carbon economy.

To combat global warming, the EU and the world have been trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the last year alone, the Parliament has among others passed measures to promote energy-saving, rules to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport, mandatory energy labelling for appliances, as well as tougher standards for fluorinated gases in air-conditioning and freezers.


The Parliament has also supported the development of second generation biofuels and approved plans to freeze the auctioning of some CO2 permits from the European Emissions Trading System scheme in order to encourage low-carbon innovation. MEPs have also backed plans for reducing the use of the most common plastic bags by at least 80% by 2019.

Ambitious and binding climate targets

The Parliament has been calling for even more ambitious and binding climate targets for both the EU and the rest of the world. In February, MEPs called for a 40% cut in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels, a 30% target for renewable energy and a 40% target for energy efficiency by 2030. They have also consistently called on the EU to show greater ambition in the talks for the new global climate change treaty that is expected to be adopted by the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.
[europarl.europa.eu]
5/6/14

Πέμπτη, Ιουνίου 05, 2014

"Raise your voice, not the sea level," urges UN on World Environment Day

 UN, 5 June 2014 – Barbados, a small Caribbean island at the cutting edge of the fight against climate change, will be hosting this year's World Environment Day, leading United Nations-wide efforts to draw attention to the plight of the world's small islands potentially in peril of being lost to sea-level rise.

“On World Environment Day, millions of individuals, community groups and businesses from around the world take part in local projects –from clean up campaigns to art exhibits to tree-planting drives,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, marked every year on 05 June.


Mr. Ban was referring to activities and events taking place worldwide – ranging from a 45,000-strong clean-up campaign involving UN staff throughout Kosovo and the Baltimore Orioles baseball team raising awareness of the environment in Sarasota, Florida, to a bike ride around the lakeside in Geneva, Switzerland – all aiming to raise awareness of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the convening of a youth conference on “Eco-civilization and Green Development” in Shanghai.

In support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States, World Environment Day will focus on those countries in the broader context of climate change as its theme. Many of the events under way will also spotlight the upcoming Third International Conference on the Small Island Developing States , set to be held in Apia, Samoa from 1 to 4 September.

“Small island nations share a common understanding that we need to set our planet on a sustainable path,” said the Secretary-General, explaining that reaching that goal demands the engagement of all sectors of society in all countries.

“This year, I urge everyone to think about the plight of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and to take inspiration from their efforts to address climate change, strengthen resilience and work for a sustainable future,” said the UN chief. “Raise your voice, not the sea level.”

Home to 62.3 million people, these island nations play a crucial role in protecting oceans while contributing little to climate change - emitting less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gases.

But they suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change owing to their small size, remote locations, and limited economic resilience. Research shows that by 2100, global warming could lead to a sea-level rise of up to 2 meters, making many of these island States, especially in the Pacific region, uninhabitable.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), warned that the very existence of low-lying nations, such as Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu is threatened by climate change-induced sea level rise.

While climate change adaptation was a top priority for island nations, the lack of financial resources is an obstacle, with, for example, the capital cost of sea-level rise in the Caribbean Community countries alone estimated to reach $187 billion by 2080.

“Investing now to head off such a massive economic impact makes sound business sense,” Steiner said in his message.

UN General Assembly President John Ashe, in his message on the Day, also appealed for a global call to action for people across the world to support SIDS and low-lying coastal States endangered by rising sea levels, and disproportionately impacted by climate change, the loss of biodiversity and forests and overfishing.

“Only by transitioning together to a green economy can we ensure a sustainable prosperous future for all countries threatened by rising sea levels,” Mr. Ashe said.

In her message on the Day, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said that while small islands faced many challenges, they are also leaders under that treaty “both morally and practically” in terms of reminding nations of the risks and collective responsibilities to act while driving ambitious national and international action.

She went on to site a host of SIDS-driven initiatives, from improved adaptation of water resources in the Comoros to wind power projects in Cape Verde, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica and methane capture in Papua New Guinea and Cuba, that have leveraged the UN Clean Development Mechanism to build their own clean energy futures. many of these nations have undertaken National Adaptation Programmes of Action under the Convention.

“Our pathway is clear. Clean energy economies produce profits without pollution, better livelihoods in stable industries, restore health and wider wealth and preserve water and essential resources,” Ms. Said, calling on all raise their voices and their ambition now.

On June 5th, 1972, the General Assembly formed UNEP to, "provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations."

That same day was also designated World Environment Day and has since been celebrated as a worldwide day of environmental awareness.

Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the 'people's day' for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet. 

[un.org]
5/6/14

Σάββατο, Απριλίου 26, 2014

NO EXCUSES: WE NEED TO PROTECT THE ANTARCTIC. - Only less than one percent of the world’s oceans are currently set aside as “protected”

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries:

"Did you know that only less than one percent of the world’s oceans are currently set aside as “protected”? Only a handful of those areas are spared human interference altogether. Today’s International Penguin Day reminds us of the need to protect Antarctic habitats before it’s too late. If we are to save the last remaining pockets of pristine ocean and the thousands of unique species living there, we need to act fast.

Some progress has been made: through international efforts, the first marine protected area in the Southern Ocean was adopted in 2009. Near the South Orkney Islands fishing is now banned except for scientific purposes. We are still on a learning curve and it may be a few years before it runs completely smoothly. But in the meantime the site’s krill and squids will have fed generations of Antarctic penguins. We are now moving to the next step – there are currently proposals to protect the waters of East Antarctica and the Ross Sea before the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) that deserve international support. A decision could be taken in October already.

The fact that these areas are part of the common good does not grant us a free pass to do nothing. On the contrary: the EU is also fighting for an international agreement to cover precisely those areas which fall through the net of direct responsibility of any one country. And we are aiming for this by next year.

Turning back the clock on ecosystems is an urgent matter, and one that I’m not comfortable postponing. No excuse there."

http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/no-excuses-we-need-to-protect-the-antarctic/
25/4/14
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International Penguin Day
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