The need for the public to realise the alarming state of the ocean was highlighted during a recent event which Prospect hosted with The Global Ocean Commissionby Prospect Team / November 29, 2013 / Leave a comment
Watch the panel discussion on the future of the high seas
The Global Ocean Commission co-chairs David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former UK Foreign Secretary, and José María Figueres, the former President of Costa Rica, participated in a panel discussion last week on why the growing needs of world population and the alarming state of the ocean demand bold reform. The event, which was chaired by Prospect editor Bronwen Maddox, was held at Somerville College, University of Oxford, which is home to the Commission’s Secretariat. The audience also heard from former Spanish environment minister Cristina Narbona and Professor Alex Rogers, Director of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO).
While there is concern in scientific circles for the state of the high seas, there is little public focus on the issue, said David Miliband who also highlighted the importance of a healthy ocean for food security.”If you care about the billion people in the world that depend on fish for protein, you’ve got to care about the seas, including the high seas,” he said.
The persistence of harmful subsidies for fisheries, climate change and the national security threat posed by illegal fishing were among the topics debated by the panel, which concluded that these are symptoms of a global governance regime that needs to radically improve. “This Commission needs to be bold,” said Mr Figueres. “The planet has never before been stressed by the needs, requirements and aspirations of seven billion people, much less nine billion people… we have to dramatically improve the way in which we address governance.”
The Commission will publish recommendations by mid-2014 that will, if implemented, be capable of restoring the global ocean to ecological health and sustainable productivity.
From left: José María Figueres, John Podesta, Cristina Narbona, David Miliband and Prof Alex Rogers