Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

  • Russian aid convoy drives into Ukraine

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Environment

UN launches plan to protect oceans, tackle sea levels

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-12

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched a new initiative on Sunday to protect the world’s oceans from pollution and over-fishing and to tackle rising sea levels which threaten hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

AFP - The UN chief Sunday announced an initiative to protect oceans from pollution and over-fishing and to combat rising sea levels which threaten hundreds of millions of the world's people.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the "Oceans Compact" initiative sets out a strategic vision for the UN system to more effectively tackle the "precarious state" of the world's seas.

Ban highlighted the "grave threat" from pollution, excessive fishing and global warming.

"Our oceans are heating and expanding," he said in a speech to a conference marking the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

"We risk irrevocable changes in processes that we barely comprehend, such as the great currents that affect weather patterns.

"Ocean acidification (from absorbed carbon emissions) is eating into the very basis of our ocean life; and sea level rise threatens to re-draw the global map at the expense of hundreds of millions of the world's most vulnerable people."

The UN chief, who also called for action to curb piracy and irregular sea migration, said he hoped for progress towards a legally binding framework to combat "runaway climate change" at a UN conference in Doha in November.

But action could also be taken now.

Ban said the Compact was aimed at "improving the health of the oceans" and strengthening their management through an action plan to be overseen by a high-level advisory group.

This would be made up of senior policymakers, scientists and ocean experts, representatives from the private sector and civil society and leaders of the UN organisations involved.

The UN chief said his initiative would also support implementation of the Law of the Sea treaty, which came into force in 1994.

He called the treaty one of the world's "most significant legal instruments" and a tool for sustainable development which all nations should ratify.

"It contributes to international peace and security, the equitable and efficient use of ocean resources, the protection and preservation of the marine environment and the realisation of a just and equitable economic order."

The United States is the only major power not to have signed the convention. Republicans in the Senate contend it would undermine US sovereignty and are blocking ratification.

"The world's oceans are key to sustaining life on the planet," Ban said in his introduction to the Oceans Compact.

Among other objectives, the Compact aims to protect the world's people from ocean degradation and natural hazards such as tsunamis, from over-fishing and from pollution by land and sea activities.

It calls for countries most at risk from rising sea levels to develop plans to mitigate the threat, and for vulnerable regions to have tsunami warning systems.

By 2025, all countries should set national targets to curb nutrients, marine debris and wastewater.

The Compact calls for renewed efforts to curb illegal fishing, rebuild fish stocks and halt the spread of invasive alien species.

By 2020, it says, at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas should be subject to conservation measures.

Date created : 2012-08-12

  • ENVIRONMENT

    As climate talks stall, Earth’s ‘carbon sponges’ choke

    Read more

  • ENVIRONMENT

    World's coral reefs face extinction

    Read more

COMMENT(S)