UN Ocean Conference: Researchers call for Ocean Knowledge-Action Network

Scientists attending this week's international conference on ocean health call for a global research network that can help build practical solutions for the challenges facing the world's seas.

See a list of events that Future Earth is participating in at the UN Ocean Conference.

Researchers attending the United Nations Ocean Conference starting today in New York will discuss with policymakers their growing alarm at the speed and scale of change in the oceans. Many fishing zones are being fished at unsustainable rates. Ocean acidification and rising water temperatures are harming warm-water coral reefs. The oceans are losing oxygen due to warmer temperatures, and sea levels are rising, threatening coastal areas.

Researchers say the world needs a new Ocean Knowledge-Action Network to accelerate progress. Solutions exist for sustainable healthy oceans. As a new report from the International Council for Science (ICSU) shows, solutions will involve not just ocean research but a wide range of areas from land use to coastal tourism and macroeconomic policies.

Future Earth, a major international research programme and network of tens of thousands of researchers that works closely with ICSU, has gathered some of the world’s leading oceanic scientists at the UN conference to help look for practical solutions that also include local communities and policy makers. Solutions include:

  • Better use of technology. For example, using satellites to crack down on unreported, unregulated and illegal fishing
  • Increasing marine protected areas
  • Exploring how goals to improve wellbeing, health and reducing emissions can also benefit ocean health
  • Identifying ocean tipping points
  • Change views of major fishing companies through dialogues with executives to ensure improvements such as more compliance with international fishing laws 
  • Consumer awareness on the scale and risk of overfishing, as well as tracing sources of fish on our tables
  • Global planning to ensure aquaculture, the source of 50 percent of our food from the seas, is more sustainable
  • Working with business to reduce use and disposal of plastics in the seas and to better understand the impacts

Future Earth and partners are developing a global Knowledge-Action Network to focus the scientific community on the issues that matter, getting them to share expertise with policy makers, businesses and NGOs to come up with timely and practical solutions.

To interview experts on the oceans please contact:

Dr Wendy Broadgate, a marine scientist and a director of Future Earth; tel: + 46 707 141 799

Dr Craig Starger, Research Liaison Officer, Future Earth; tel: +1-970-492-4215

For other enquiries, contact Alistair Scrutton, Communications Director at Future Earth; tel: +46 707 211098