Ocean Action! International Conference
5 Feb 2020 | Brussels, Belgium


It is time we act for the ocean. Despite decades of warnings, indicators on biodiversity, acidification, fish stocks, and pollution are all pointing to a state of crisis.

Our future depends on the protection and restoration of our ocean and seas.  The ocean produces more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe, is the main food source for more than 3.5 billion people and we depend on it to regulate our climate. It has absorbed over 90% of the heat trapped by our carbon dioxide emissions and, as the world’s largest active carbon sink, has sequestered over 30% of the carbon from those emissions, slowing down the warming of our planet. The ocean makes life on earth possible, it is part of our life support system and we cannot survive without its services any more than the human body can survive without its heart. This is why we need marine ecosystems to be rich in fauna, flora and genetic biodiversity so that they can perform their natural functions and help us by mitigating the worst effects of the climate breakdown.

Currently, we are taxing the health and immune system of the ocean through multiple stressors. We need to remove them now so that it stands the best chance of enduring the consequences of the climate breakdown. It is like curing pneumonia to better fight cancer.

We know what needs to be done: ending overfishing and harmful fishing practices, phasing out pollution from land and sea sources, protecting wildlife and habitats against the impacts of shipping and other maritime activities, to name a few. This change requires firm political action. We have seen enough plans and strategies. They need to be implemented, for real. What is keeping us? What do we need to change before we miss another deadline in ten years?   

Ocean Action! will bring together policy-makers, scientists, activists and artists from all over the world. Together, we will call the EU for action on its commitment to protect and restore our seas and ocean. We will discuss the cost of inaction. And we will chart a new route out of the crisis. Join us: we need all hands on deck.

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