In a very short amount of time, people have changed the ocean’s ecosystem, which is also “the support system that we all depend on for everything from the food sources to the very air that we breathe and that’s quite alarming”, ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau told CNA.
It is time to move beyond talk, he said.
“We’ve lost a lot of time in these discussions in these debates, and it’s now time for action,” he said, adding that the global community knows what the problems are, and to an extent, how to solve them.
“The worst thing we can do is not do anything and have more debates.”
He urged countries to take the first steps to address ocean health, adding that they need to generally look at three topics. They are: climate change and all its related issues, the overconsumption of the world’s oceanic resources and the pollution issue, which is illustrated typically by plastics but also includes chemical runoffs that are “quite literally choking our life support system, the ocean”, he said.
NEED FOR COLLABORATION
Given that countries may push blame and responsibility for what happens to the borderless ocean, Emeritus Professor Chou Loke Ming from the Reef Ecology Lab at the National University of Singapore said that there needs to be more cooperation among neighbours.
He pointed to inter-governmental organisations as an answer.
“They come together, agree on what kind of measures should be adopted, and then this would then be implemented in different countries. And I can say that some of these intergovernmental organisations have been quite successful in at least trying to ramp up management of the marine area,” he told CNA’s Singapore Tonight on Thursday.
There are also examples from the region where things have been “turned around”, he said, although he did not elaborate. No one country can manage the waters alone, he added.
“The seas would transfer, transport, all kinds of materials across international boundaries. So, the need for collaboration is very strong, very high,” he said.
Source: Channel News Asia