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794. World Ocean Outlook: Towards a Sustainable Blue Economy

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794. World Ocean Outlook: Towards a Sustainable Blue Economy

June 8th is World Oceans Day.

It was proposed by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 8, 1992, and was recognized as an International Day in 2009.

Today's Pick Up features the World Ocean Outlook 2023, authored by the World Ocean Initiative of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist. The report focuses on solutions and opportunities for action to address global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental pollution for a sustainable blue economy. The following are excerpts taken from the executive summary of the World Ocean outlook 2023: building on the ocean momentum.


Climate Change

①  International progress has been made in halting the destruction of marine ecosystems in 2022 and must continue in 2023 (Table).
②  Rising water temperatures and ocean acidification will harm aquaculture and fisheries, especially in poorer coastal areas. In addition, landings in cooler regions may increase in the opposite direction.
③  High-quality blue carbon credit projects, such as mangrove and other ecosystem restoration, are expected to expand in 2023.


Table: International actions to stop the destruction of marine ecosystems

Progress in 2022

  • World Trade Organization (WTO) reached an agreement to partially ban harmful fishing subsidies
  • United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) agreed to start negotiating a plastic pollution treaty 

Plans for 2023

  • Agreement expected on High Seas Convention to provide legal protection for international waters
  • Negotiations on plastic pollution treaty underway
  • WTO ban on harmful fishing subsidies enters into force
  • Shipping decarbonization targets expected to be adopted in 2023


Biodiversity loss

①  Progress in protecting and restoring marine biodiversity will require more work and funding, including innovation, new technologies and increased political will.
②  UN talks to agree on a treaty to protect biodiversity in the world's international waters will continue in 2023. Without this treaty, it will be impossible to achieve the 30 X 30* to protect land and sea.
③  Tensions are expected to continue over the approval by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) of deep-sea mining in international waters.


*Japan’s 30by30 RoadmapーTo halt and reverse biodiversity loss, win back desirable relationship with natureー (Ministry of the Environment) https://policies.env.go.jp/nature/biodiversity/30by30alliance/documents…


Environmental Pollution

①  Major investments and expanded solutions are needed to stem the flow of plastic waste into the oceans and work toward a plastics-recycling economy.
②  UN talks are continuing to reach an international legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution by 2024.
③  Other chemical pollutants also need international regulation and greater awareness of their impact on marine biodiversity.


Sustainable Ocean Economy

①  The new wave of investment in the sustainable blue economy (aquaculture, renewable energy, tourism, etc.) needs careful monitoring to ensure that it is sustainable and does not damage marine ecosystems.
②  Shift to green fuels is underway, but a regulatory framework an
③  Offshore energy is an essential component of meeting global renewable energy needs. Offshore wind capacity is accelerating, but tidal and wave energy require policy and regulatory frameworks and large numbers of projects to scale up.
④  Demand for seafood is projected to be met primarily by expansion of aquaculture. Natural seafood fisheries are expected to recover moderately, but more funding is needed to support them.
⑤  Both aquaculture and fisheries face increasing challenges from climate change, particularly in warmer regions.
⑥  Progress is needed to ensure that men and women benefit equally from a sustainable blue economy.


World Ocean Outlook 2023 -Building on the ocean momentum-


Contributor: KANAMORI Norihito (Information and Public Relations Office)

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