Presentation on theme: "8th ANNUAL ELISABETH MANN BORGESE OCEAN LECTURE Blue Planet Under Threat: Challenges and Opportunities at Rio+20 Friday 8th June 2012 - World Oceans Day."— Presentation transcript:
8th ANNUAL ELISABETH MANN BORGESE OCEAN LECTURE Blue Planet Under Threat: Challenges and Opportunities at Rio+20 Friday 8th June World Oceans Day
1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment – Stockholm 1980 IUCN World Conservation Strategy 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) – Rio Agenda 21 (esp. Chapter 17) / Rio Declaration / Convention on Biological Diversity / Framework Convention on Climate Change 2000 Millennium Summit & Declaration / Millennium Development Goals 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) – Johannesburg 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) A Chronology of Sustainable Development Initiatives
Despite strong language in the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, the 1992 Rio Declaration and the 2002 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, governments have failed to reverse or even halt the degradation of the oceans
… and now we now face the urgent and immediate threat of climate change
News continues to be bad on the ecological status of our coasts and oceans: e.g., Coastal habitats – the blue forests – are disappearing at rates even more rapid than inland forests Ninety percent of top predatory fish in the oceans have been reported to be fished-out Loss of biological diversity continues Dead zones of oxygen depletion from pollution and harmful algal blooms increase every year Negative Trends
Some progress has been made in the past 20 years in implementing the outcomes of major summits for the ocean, but they have been few, as evidenced by the deteriorating state of ocean ecosystems and species. Many of the gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits are due to governance and institutional deficiencies Time-bound targets, specific promises and commitments, while useful as motivational and aspirational goals, are insufficient mechanisms on their own in leading to the desired results. Commitments, progress & gaps
Good progress has been reported regarding the control of three categories of land-based pollutants: persistent organic pollutants, radioactive substances, and hydrocarbons Mixed results regarding the control of heavy metals and sediment transport Worsening conditions reported for sewage, nutrients, marine litter and the physical alteration and destruction of habitats Good, bad, worse …
Objectives for Rio+20: Securing commitment to sustainable development Addressing progress and implementation gaps in current commitments Addressing new challenges Themes: A green economy to obtain sustainable development Poverty eradication Improving the institutional framework for sustainable development across nations Objectives & Themes for Rio+20
Jobs – focusing on labour markets and producing and redistributing global wealth – Green Jobs Energy – sustainable energy – improve efficiency and increase use of renewable resources Cities – growth is desirable as long as cities improve resource use and reduce pollution and poverty Food – rethink how the world grows, shares and consumes food – central to hunger and poverty eradication Water – clean and accessible water for everyone Disaster-resilient societies – earthquakes, floods, droughts, tsunamis, etc. Urgent need for resilience Oceans – heavily affected by human activities including pollution, ecosystem depletion and habitat destruction There are 7 issues to be addressed during Rio+20:
The timeline for action is shrinking As we continue to delay the urgent and critical action needed to address these negative trends, environmental conditions continue to deteriorate, coastal communities continue to suffer, and the action needed to mitigate these impacts becomes more costly and difficult Urgent and direct intervention can no longer be delayed if we hope to provide a sustainable ocean for current and future generations Nothing less that a renewed commitment to action will do!
Despite the existence of a well-intentioned framework, the international community has acknowledged that it has fallen short of achieving environmental sustainability and that renewed political commitment is urgently needed to fully implement the targets and commitments of the previous Earth Summits.
Will the further implementation of the complex set of measures that are already in place make the difference, or are more drastic and innovative solutions needed? A Central Question: