Nav: Home

Restored ocean will alleviate poverty, provide jobs, and improve health, finds report

May 31, 2017

A healthy ocean will benefit global sustainable development in a number of ways, finds a new report published today by the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program. With climate change and social inequity addressed, restoring the ocean will help alleviate poverty, provide livelihoods, and improve the health of millions around the world.

"The challenges--both environmental and socioeconomic--that confront our oceans have reached a critical level," said Yoshitaka Ota, Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program Director of Policy. "This report demonstrates how ocean sustainability holds the key not only to our future prosperity but also for our survival from a comprehensive science-based perspective."

Developed in preparation for the UN World Ocean Conference, June 5 to 9, this is the first comprehensive report on Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water. The goal outlines seven targets agreed upon by the international community as key to the issues plaguing our oceans - from eliminating subsidies to minimizing acidification, ending overfishing to creating marine reserves.

"If fish stocks recover and are effectively managed, fisheries are more likely to provide sustainable livelihoods and food, and be more resilient to climate change" said William Cheung, Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program Director of Science. "Sustainable fisheries can help reduce poverty, limit hunger, and contribute to decent work and sustained economic growth by providing employment opportunities and productive fish stocks."

The Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program highlighted linkages between the ocean goal and the other 16 Sustainable Development Goals, developed by the UN in 2015. The report focuses on the challenges of climate change and social equity concerns in achieving ocean sustainability.

"Climate change and social equity issues go hand and hand. The countries that are projected to be the hardest hit are tropical countries, which are mostly developing," said Gerald Singh, Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program Senior Fellow at UBC. "Sea levels are rising and fish are moving to different locations. But populations are also growing and moving towards coasts. Reducing inequalities is at the heart of sustainable development."

The co-benefits of achieving the ocean goal on the other sustainable development goals are wide reaching and not immediately apparent.

"The results may seem surprising, but a healthy ocean can contribute to achieving gender equality," said Ota. "Fisheries activities are quite gendered -- women typically do unrecognized and unrewarded work. Men will go on boats to capture fish that are sent to markets. But women are often collecting the subsistence food."

"A healthy ocean can also mean the difference between malnourishment and a steady supply of high quality protein for vulnerable communities," said Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program Manager. "The oceans are connected to our lives in many ways. Restoring the oceans isn't just an environmentalist's dream but is vital for employment, well being, livelihoods, and health around the world."
-end-
Report link: http://www.nereusprogram.org/sdg-report/

View a visualization of the SDG co-benefits: http://takumi.la/ocean/

About the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program

The Nereus Program, a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia, has engaged in innovative, interdisciplinary ocean research since its inception in 2011. The program is currently a global partnership of sixteen leading marine science institutes with the aim of undertaking research that advances our comprehensive understandings of the global ocean systems across the natural and social sciences, from oceanography and marine ecology to fisheries economics and impacts on coastal communities. Visit nereusprogram.org for more information.

For further information or interview requests, please contact:

Lindsay Lafreniere
Communications Officer, Nereus Program
The University of British Columbia
l.lafreniere@oceans.ubc.ca

Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program

Related Climate Change Articles:

The black forest and climate change
Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts.
For some US counties, climate change will be particularly costly
A highly granular assessment of the impacts of climate change on the US economy suggests that each 1°Celsius increase in temperature will cost 1.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, on average.
Climate change label leads to climate science acceptance
A new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science.
Was that climate change?
A new four-step 'framework' aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.
It's more than just climate change
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations.
Climate change scientists should think more about sex
Climate change can have a different impact on male and female fish, shellfish and other marine animals, with widespread implications for the future of marine life and the production of seafood.
Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior
A new University of Washington study finds that one of Alaska's most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change, which could impact the ecology of northern lakes that already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.
Uncertainties related to climate engineering limit its use in curbing climate change
Climate engineering refers to the systematic, large-scale modification of the environment using various climate intervention techniques.
Public holds polarized views about climate change and trust in climate scientists
There are gaping divisions in Americans' views across every dimension of the climate debate, including causes and cures for climate change and trust in climate scientists and their research, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The psychology behind climate change denial
In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial.

Related Climate Change Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".