UN chief calls for coordinated global action to solve ocean problems
"We created these problems. With decisive, coordinated global action, we can solve them," said Guterres in his opening remarks at the Ocean Conference, the first such summit convened by the UN.
"Pollution, overfishing and the effects of climate change are severely damaging the health of our oceans," he said, adding that "plastic could outweigh fish - if nothing happens - in our seas by 2050."
"Rising sea levels threaten entire countries. Oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, causing coral bleaching and reducing biodiversity," said the UN chief.
"Changing currents will have a serious impact on weather patterns; we must prepare for more frequent storms and droughts," he said
Guterres also called for "decisive action" to nurture and protect the lifeblood of the planet.
Representatives from some 85 countries attended the five-day conference, which would focus on the targets outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the UN menber states in 2015, the organizers said.
In particular among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 14 highlights the need to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources to benefit present and future generations. ■