World Leaders Must Work Together to Protect Marine Life

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Target: World Leaders

Goal: Urge governments worldwide to come together and be held accountable for protecting the world’s oceans at the Rio+20 summit.

The Rio+20 Earth Summit is approaching and conservationists are concerned that little has been done in the last 20 years, since the first Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, to protect the world’s oceans and marine life. Scientists have published their findings on the progress of ocean conservation in the journal Science, which is being reviewed in preparation for the upcoming summit. According to Jonathan Baillie, director of conservation at the Zoological Society of London, ‘Almost every commitment made by governments to protect the oceans has not been achieved.’ Globally, the future looks very bleak for the world’s oceans. Baillie went on to say, ‘If these international processes are to be taken seriously, governments must be held accountable and any future commitments must come with clear plans for implementation and a process to evaluate success or failure.’

With the exception of Australia’s commitment to conserve marine life, demonstrated by the creation of a network of marine reserves off its shores, most of the pledges made at the 1992 Earth Summit have not been met. The creation of marine reserves, elimination of subsidies contributing to illegal fishing, protection of critical habitats, and restoration of fish stocks were supposed to have been achieved by 2012 to 2015. Little has been done to achieve these goals. Illegal fishing is still a major problem worldwide and only 1% of the world’s oceans are protected. Most fish stocks are still seriously depleted. Recently, European ministers voted to extend the deadline to achieve targets for fish populations to 2020. When it comes to conserving marine life we are moving in the wrong direction.

When world leaders meet next week in Rio, our oceans will be a major theme, and it is crucial that commitments are made and kept to protect marine life. However, according to the preparatory talks that have taken place the news does not look hopeful for this to happen. For example, the United States is against sharing ocean resources equitably. Developing nations say they will not agree to protected areas without this agreement.

Governments must compromise and come together to conserve the marine environment, otherwise we will soon have nothing left to save. By signing this petition you are asking world leaders to work together at the Rio+20 Earth Summit and commit to protecting marine life.

PETITION LETTER

Dear World Leaders,

A study was published in the journal Science analyzing the progress of ocean conservation over the last 20 years. The findings are disappointing. Little has been done to meet the commitments made at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. As the Rio+20 Earth Summit approaches it is crucial that governments come together to make plans for protecting marine life. There must be clear methods of implementation and evaluation of progress put in place to ensure successful results. Nations must also be held accountable for progress, otherwise continued deterioration of marine life will occur.

The creation of marine reserves, elimination of subsidies contributing to illegal fishing, protection of critical habitats, and restoration of fish stocks were supposed to have been achieved by 2012 to 2015. Little progress has been made towards these goals. Illegal fishing is still a major problem worldwide and only 1% of the world’s oceans are protected. Most fish stocks are still seriously depleted. Recently, European ministers voted to extend the deadline to achieve targets for fish populations to 2020. When it comes to conserving marine life, governments are moving in the wrong direction.

Governments must compromise and come together to conserve the marine environment, otherwise there will be nothing left to protect. Please work together at the Rio+20 Earth Summit and commit to protecting marine life.

Sincerely:

[Your Name Here]

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238 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Mal Gaff
  • Hermann Kastner
  • sheila childs
  • joan walker
  • jeff hopkins
  • Holly Hall
  • Rebecca Williams
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Jutta Taraniuk
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