THE GREAT 30/30 CHALLENGE ? AMONG WAVES OF COVID19
The oceans are the basis of life and the true lungs of the planet. They generate 70% of the oxygen we breathe, absorb most of the carbon dioxide we emit, and are an indispensable source of food, health, and recreation. They are essential to maintain the aquatic and terrestrial ecological balance. They are home to rich ecosystems that are part of the greatest source of biodiversity on the planet. Today they are critically threatened by human activity. We barely have 3.5% of its protected area, and it is necessary to protect at least 30% of the marine and terrestrial surface by 2030.
Throughout these lines you will learn about the reasons why we must reach 30/30, the contribution of Surf & Nature Alliance to this great challenge, and the blue call we make in a coalition with an influential group of marine conservation organizations to governments and corporations, so we can all RISE UP with a series of actions needed to put the ocean on the course of recovery.
Photos 1, 3, 4, 5, 6: @LuciaGriggi ~ Photo 2: @KokoFotografia ~ Photo 7: Andy Mann
Newton said that every action has a reaction
Oceans and nature have been suffering for decades from overexploitation, population pressure, pollution, and spills. These factors are unleashing an environmental problem that is increasingly difficult to reverse and manage.
Scientists from around the world have released devastating reports that go almost unnoticed and are more than worrying. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) or the IPBES (Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) warn of an unprecedented climate and environmental crisis. They provide us with data on a systemic problem that currently affects the survival of a million species and human well-being. A chain reaction that is causing a domino effect that is causing the sixth mass extinction.
The collapse of marine and terrestrial ecosystems
The devotion to consumption and productivity, the extraction and indiscriminate use of fossil fuels, the overexploitation of natural resources, the population explosion, pollution, and the increase in CO2 emissions, are factors that exert excessive pressure on the ecosystems and are accelerating climate change.
Pollution, plastic waste, oil spills, overfishing, underwater noise, eutrophication of water, excessive coastal urbanization, and lack of knowledge for the proper management and conservation of the marine environment, are increasing the temperature of the sea, causing among other things:
- Acidification of the water, and with it the destruction of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and the habitat of thousands of species.
- Melting of the permafrost (that layer of frozen soil in cold regions that contains 3 times more carbon than what we have in the atmosphere is melting 70 years earlier than expected) releases huge amounts of greenhouse gas and viruses that carried hundreds of years frozen.
- Stronger and more frequent natural disasters.
- The loss of biological diversity.
These impacts on the marine and terrestrial environment are reaching a breaking point. We have a short time to reverse them.
Waves of COVID-19
For months, the waves of Covid19 have unleashed an unprecedented health and economic crisis. A tragedy that is leaving behind hundreds of thousands of deaths and the grief of millions of people around the world before a “new normal” of confinements, restrictions, masks, and hydroalcoholic gels. The coronavirus has undoubtedly invited us to reflect and prioritize what is truly important. Preserving one’s own life and that of others, learning to face collectively and immediately a global crisis that affects us all. Most governments, unfortunately not all, have had to listen to science and take drastic solutions to contain it. But their actions are not enough to get to the root of the problem, which is to find harmony with nature again, preserving healthy and diverse ecosystems.
The last generation capable of stopping the environmental crisis
Changes to tackle the climate crisis with determination, coordination, immediacy, are huge. Bold measures must be taken to heal our sick system before it becomes an irreversible problem. We have only 10 years to make an ecological transition that allows us to stay below the 1.5ºC heating threshold. We can either give continuity to the current destructive and extractive economic model, which propels us towards the environmental, social, and economic abyss; or opt for a transformative change that respects and strengthens our ocean, its resources, its biodiversity, its hydrodiversity, and the global community that rely on it. The lives of our children and youth are conditioned by the actions that are taken now.
Commitment to our blue heritage
Conserving and protecting the ocean is essential to achieve the necessary ecological balance with which to put the planet on the path of recovery.
In 2019, millions of people have woken up and mobilized for nature around the world. Social demand rose massively to demand concrete measures against the climate crisis. We currently have the internationally agreed framework of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to address the ocean crisis, but it needs to be fully implemented to get where it is needed.
Our commitment to a healthy and sustainable blue future goes through scaling up Surf & Nature Alliance programs
Early this year, we published our latest milestones and upcoming challenges for our different programs for the conservation of the marine environment and its breakers, education, science, and ocean literacy for sustainability:. OCEAN RESOLUTIONS 2020
In the present times, several communities are benefiting from the knowledge and support that we provide through our programs. Today we need to gather new support to be able to extend it to other communities in need.
Raising awareness for the ocean
We are taking our message beyond academic and scientific circles in a very organic way. These are the main campaigns:
- Espacio Azul: We entered 3 million homes through a new television program on the conservation of the marine environment, blue heritage, and ocean literacy for sustainability. Directed and presented by Juanjo Gonzalez Trueba.
- Manifesto for the Protection of Waves: We continue to take our message to coastal communities on 5 continents and translated into 12 languages to initiate the process of patrimonialization of unique breakers.
- Rise Up For The Ocean*: This campaign is a collective blue call to joint action developed by civil society and philanthropic organizations including the Surf & Nature Alliance, which urges governments and corporations to agree to bold actions to safeguard the ocean.
(iii) protect and restore threatened and endangered species, habitats and ecological functions.
Within territorial seas, prioritize access for sustainable small-scale fishing, prevent industrial threats, and recognize and promote community-based management.
(i) minimise greenhouse gas emissions to ensure we meet the Paris Agreement’s target to keep heating below 1.5°C; and (ii) restore the ocean’s full natural capacity to sequester and store carbon through nature-based solutions.
Invest in nature-based solutions to maximize marine carbon sequestration and storage potential (e.g. protecting and restoring wetlands, mangroves and seagrass beds, and rebuilding wildlife).
(i) invest more in innovation and development to rapidly transition to a circular economy, including by moving to a sustainable and inclusive blue economy; and (ii) phase out destructive ocean activities to ensure that economic growth does not continue to degrade the marine environment.
(i) strengthen the ability of local coastal communities, Indigenous peoples and small-scale fishers and fishworkers, especially women and youth, to conserve biodiversity, safeguard food security, build climate resilience and eradicate poverty.
In compliance with their free, prior and informed consent, ensure full and effective participation in the governance and management of biodiversity and natural resources.
Promote food security and poverty eradication through the immediate implementation of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Small-Scale Fisheries.
Recognize, protect and secure legitimate tenure rights to marine resources important for livelihoods and sociocultural wellbeing.
Recognize the critical importance of ancestral, Indigenous and local knowledge and ensure it is incorporated in decision-making.
(i) establish effective and equitable global governance to protect the ocean, and ensure the participation of Indigenous and coastal communities in these processes.
(i) establish a global network of effective and representative marine protected and Indigenous Peoples and Local Community (IPLC) conserved areas that are fully or highly protected to provide climate, food security, livelihood and biodiversity benefits; and (ii) ensure these areas are sufficiently funded and that agreed protection plans are fully implemented.
Adopt the 30 percent protection by 2030 (30×30) target into the new 2030 Global Deal for Nature by the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2020.
Accelerate progress to ensure that this network of fully or highly protected and conserved areas cover at least 30 per cent of the global ocean by 2030.
Immediately protect or conserve pristine marine areas.
Develop ambitious global financial instruments to implement and enforce existing and new MPAs, particularly for small island and developing states; and promote capacity-strengthening for MPA managers, Indigenous peoples and local communities.
Recognize the biodiversity contributions of protected and conserved areas of all governance types, including marine areas conserved by IPLCs as traditional owners of their territories of life.
The time is now.
Defending our oceans and the sustainable use of marine resources is essential to meet the great 30/30 challenge. Our conservation programs, supporting local coastal communities, improving scientific knowledge, and advancing ocean literacy require the contribution of people like you to amplify the message and move faster. Your contribution will a great impact to let us go much further.