On Thursday a workshop organised by the YOUNGO Oceans Working Group took place to provide an exchange about the progress on the Ocean Pathway Program since COP23. In COP23 Oceans and coastal zones received top priority when the Fiji Presidency announces the Ocean Pathway, aimed to unite the climate change actions and oceans.
In this session were the three major Talanoa-questions discussed:
- where we are?
- Where do we want to go?
- How do we get there?
Where are we?
Healthy oceans are essential for human wellbeing, especially the coastal and island states. The last two COP’s have been a breakthrough because of the leadership of the island state Fiji. Interest concerning the oceans is increasing at the moment, the people fell in love with the oceans, but is it just a love affair or a marriage?
Where do we want to go?
The target is to bring oceans on the agenda and to push the political course towards oceans. COP24 won’t be focused on the Oceans, so there is a need to put pressure on the issue to bring oceans on the PA agenda.
How do we get there?
We need to understand how oceans can contribute to the achievement of the global goals, the story of forests have been explained better. The need to raise the Politicians and also civil societies attention how important the oceans are as a carbon sink, biodiversity and also blue economy.
You cannot take the climate change without linking the oceans, as the cycle 28% of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere from burning fuels since 1850, it’s a massive carbon sink. They also provide a lot of oxygen (comparable to the amazon), every second breath is based on the ocean-oxygen-production. In a row with climate change ocean can and will cause loss and damage with floods, tsunamis and hurricanes, thereby most affecting island states and coastal countries. E.g. planting mangrove-forest down the coastline is a good way of adaption, since they slow down sandstorms. So far the ocean seems more as a matter of the island states, but all people are gonna be affected by the rise of sea levels. Oceans need any help they can get!
Merle Küster is a Forestry Student at Technical University of Dresden, Germany. Her main interests involve Botany and Biological Processes.