Bolivian President Slams US For Leaving Paris Climate Change Agreement

Bolivian President Slams US For Leaving Paris Climate Change Agreement

More than 600 commitments have been received at the Ocean Conference underway at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in NY with a pledge to take action to improve the health of the ocean.

The U.N. chief told presidents, ministers, diplomats and environmental activists from almost 200 countries on Monday that oceans are being severely damaged by pollution, overfishing and the effects of climate change as well as refuse.

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord cast a long shadow over the gathering aimed at agreeing on a strategy to reverse the oceans' decline.

"We must jointly address the problems of governance that have held us back", he said, calling for a new strategic vision of how to govern the oceans and marine resources.

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned that a range of factors are damaging the world's oceans.

However, taking stock of the day's proceedings, many insiders with knowledge of what is called the "fine print" of the draft of the "call to action", privately said that the USA was "slow" in extending its support to the "pointed language" contained in the draft text, but they also emphasized that many were not inclined to exclude that language which they described as "fundamental" to highlighting the seriousness of the problems of the oceans and the climate change.

According to a recent study, the volume of plastic waste in our oceans may surpass that of fish by 2050 if nothing is done.

"From our deliberations in plenary, from the partnership dialogues and from the multitude of interactions of this conference, we will draw up the solutions to the woes we have imposed on the Ocean".

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"The Commission on Sustainable Development at its 4th session, as a follow-up to the Rio Conference, noted inter-linkages among the protection of oceans and atmosphere, climate and desertification, maritime transport and energy".

"We must put aside short-term national gain to prevent long-term global catastrophe", Guterres said.

"Conserving our oceans and using them sustainably is preserving life itself", he added.

That is why Sweden and Fiji jointly took the initiative to organise the UN Ocean Conference.

THE world should ramp up efforts to halt the degradation of the marine environment by moving from rhetoric to action, Zimbabwe Ambassador to the United Nations, who is also president of the Economic and Social Council, Frederick Shava said here on Monday.

The prospect of a vibrant, sustainable blue economy is on South Africa's doorstep, and the country's Operation Phakisa oceans economy plans have progressed considerably, Environmental Affairs Minister Dr Edna Molewa said on Wednesday. Those factors, he emphasized, had made the US the "main threat to Mother Earth and to life itself". 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.

600 committments from countries, businesses and civil society groups have so far been received, that target isues ranging from protecting coral reefs, strengthening sustainable fisheries, reducing plastic pollution, and addressing the impact of climate change.

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