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Symposium 2013

Solution for Governing the World’s Oceans

The Challenge

The significance of our oceans for human life, the world’s climate and biodiversity is immense. Oceans cover more than 71 per cent of the planet’s surface, provide 97 per cent of its water supply, ...

The significance of our oceans for human life, the world’s climate and biodiversity is immense. Oceans cover more than 71 per cent of the planet’s surface, provide 97 per cent of its water supply, and their yet widely unknown biodiversity is unparalleled. They provide jobs and growth, food, energy, and raw materials, and 70 per cent of global trade is handled by ships. Oceans thereby secure the livelihoods of millions of people, especially in coastal regions. But these livelihoods are increasingly endangered by the effects of global warming, by the unrestricted exploitation of the oceans and by the ecological damage the oceans are suffering from overfishing, pollution and noise.

Strengthen international organizations and enhance intergovernmental co-operation on the world's oceans

As the oceans are a global public good, international co-operation is needed to facilitate sustainable ocean management. The existing organizations, such as the International Maritime Organization, should be strengthened. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea should be reformed, modernized and, above all, efficiently and consequently enforced. It should also be expanded to cover not only the seabed in 'Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction', but also the water column above the ground. In addition, national states should in general ratify international treaties, for example, the global treaty on ballast water management aiming at reducing the intrusion of invasive species, faster and put more effort into their enforcement.

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    Start with small steps to improve ocean governance

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    Start with small steps to improve ocean governance

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