To mark World Oceans Day on 8 June, the IASS Potsdam together with the French research Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) have published comprehensive proposals aimed at a more sustainable management of the high seas.
These marine areas account for almost half of the earth’s surface and are increasingly being exploited as a reservoir of resources. However, as yet no adequate international regulations exist to protect them. The research findings show how the governance of the oceans can be reformed by combining different strategies, from gradual improvements in the short term to long-term internationally binding agreements.
The recommendations which were obtained with partners from the scientific community, politics, international organisations, and civil society were published in a special supplement of the journal Marine Policy with 14 articles by leading international experts on ocean protection. The IASS and IDDRI will present them for discussion at the UN talks on the protection of the high seas from 16 to 19 June in New York.
Overfishing, marine pollution, climate change and other influences have led to a situation where most of the oceans are already greatly affected by people today. In a world whose population will soon number nine billion, we have to assume that the endangerment of the world’s oceans will increase further.
In particular the high seas – those marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) – are increasingly being developed and exploited as a last major reservoir of resources. Commenting on the publication of the special supplement on “Advancing Governance of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction” in Marine Policy, IASS Executive Director Klaus Töpfer stresses that “the oceans need urgent protection. This is in our own interest as they are an indispensable food source and home to countless species. It’s here that we need to show whether we are able to use our common resources in a sustainable and fair way.”
The international community at the Rio+20 Earth Summit discussed the proposal for a new binding agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of the high seas – a loophole in the existing international Convention on the Law of the Sea. A decision on whether or not to pursue the negotiation of that agreement is due to be taken by August 2015 (the end of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly). Possible elements of the agreement include the establishment of marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments of human activities, fair access to marine genetic resources as well as the transfer of marine technologies to developing countries.
However, in anticipation of the UN negotiations, the directors of IDDRI and IASS, Laurence Tubiana and Klaus Töpfer, warn against putting all our eggs in one basket. Parallel to possible negotiations on a new agreement, which may take many years and whose outcome is uncertain, both directors also recommend complementary strategies that can be implemented in the shorter term, in particular through regional agreements.
The latter have already borne fruit, for example in the North-East Atlantic, where a network of marine protected areas was established on the high seas. “The negotiation of global Sustainable Development Goals, which was also agreed in Rio in 2012, represents another possible path to progress,” notes Laurence Tubiana, founder of IDDRI. This aims to develop a holistic and global approach to development and environmental policy after 2015, which will also cover the sustainable utilisation of the oceans.
Corina Weber | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences