The decision by the United Nations to dedicate the decade 2021-2030 to protecting the oceans reflects an unavoidable reality: that ocean and maritime pollution is a top priority challenge from an environmental, social and economic point of view.
Supported by the United Nations, the fifth edition of the One Planet Summit in Brest, France, in February of this year was devoted entirely to the oceans. A choice of subject that sent a strong signal, it came as little surprise to experts in the field. In 2015, the UN had set the preservation of “oceans, seas and marine resources” as its 14th Sustainable Development Goal and awareness of their importance has been growing ever since. Determined to make protecting them a priority, the UN has declared the period from 2021-2030 “a decade of ocean science for sustainable development.” Clearly, the sound of alarm bells ringing has become ever louder over time. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, water pollution has led to a three-fold increase in the acidity of the world’s oceans, a life-changing phenomenon for many marine ecosystems.
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