The ocean sustains all life on our planet and is fundamental to human survival and well-being. Now is the time to RISE UP in its defense.
Coral reef die-offs, collapsing fish populations and species extinctions are evidence of the escalating ocean crisis brought about by overfishing, ocean heating, acidification, pollution and multiple other stressors. They are eroding the ocean’s ability to function as our life support system. Defending its capacity to produce oxygen, sequester carbon and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people is vital.
Thriving coastal areas, a resilient deep ocean, abundant nature and protected high seas will help sustain all humankind and support the culture and well-being of Indigenous peoples and coastal communities. A healthy ocean is fundamental to a healthy planet, and makes a hopeful future for current and future generations possible.
At most, we have 10 years to stay below the 1.5°C heating threshold and avoid the existential risks to nature and people that crossing it will bring. We have a choice: either we continue to follow a destructive, extractive economic model that will take us ever faster towards environmental, social and economic disaster; or we choose transformative change that respects and bolsters our ocean, its resources, its biodiversity, and the global community that rely on it.
2020 is the year in which we can drive bold, fair actions to set the ocean on a course to recovery.
The conditions are ideal for governments and other stakeholders to take action. There is a globally agreed SDG14 framework, the inescapable science of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and a rising wave of citizen engagement.
Young people in particular are getting involved: we need to listen to our youth, as their lives will be shaped by the actions we take now.
Some measures to address the ocean crisis have been adopted but they have not been fully implemented. They must be actioned immediately – and we need to go much further. We the undersigned are committed to ensuring a healthy blue future. We call on governments and businesses to join us and RISE UP for the ocean.
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