As a native Californian, lifelong swimmer, and snorkeler, I grew up spending a lot of time in, on, and near the ocean. When I talk about its importance I usually emphasize the critical role it plays in providing food security for billions, its importance to the global economy, and its crucial role in the climate system; for many of us, the ocean is also central to our cultures and communities and a source of inspiration, rejuvenation, and enjoyment.
That’s one of the messages of We Are One Ocean, a campaign World Surf League PURE is launching this week in partnership with NRDC and 60 other conservation organizations calling for at least 30% of the ocean to be fully and highly protected by 2030 (30x30).
“As surfers, swimmers, sailors, divers, and ocean lovers, the sea is more than just our favorite place to play,” notes the We Are One Ocean coalition. “The ocean is our office, our playground, and our place of worship. The ocean, its waves and beaches, its reefs and wrecks, puts smiles on our faces and meals on our tables. It provides jobs, controls our climate, and produces the oxygen in every other breath we take. Truly, our greatest resource and connector is our one shared ocean.”
Today, the ocean faces threats from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, industrial activities, and noise, chemical, and plastic pollution. One of the most important things we can do to protect the ocean, in addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, is to highly and fully protect at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030, while strengthening conservation in the remaining portion.
Government signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are negotiating a new global biodiversity framework that will set the trajectory of conservation for the next decade and beyond. When they meet in Kunming, China later this year, these governments should adopt a target to highly and fully protect at least 30 percent of our ocean, lands, and inland waters by 2030.
Achieving this target will bolster the ocean’s resilience to climate change, enhance food security for the billions of people who rely on the ocean for their primary source of protein and income, provide safe havens for marine life, and secure a healthy ocean for all of us to enjoy.
To show your support for strong protections for the ocean, sign the petition to urge your leaders to support Thirty by Thirty. Doing so will help secure a healthier ocean and planet, for us and for the future.