New Report Shows Public Funding Could Reverse Ocean Damage

Written by on December 18, 2012 in Marine Life
Coral bleaching.

Coral bleaching-a very visible form of ocean degradation. Photo credit: David Burdick, NOAA.

A new report reveals that as little as US$5 billion in public funds could be enough to reverse ocean degradation. And, as the oceans provide us with resources worth at least $3 trillion annually, $5 billion doesn’t seem like so much.

The report, issued jointly from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF), focuses on how strengthened markets and policies could protect our oceans and even reverse decades of damage. It points out that the degradation of marine ecosystems stems from market and policy failures, which have resulted in under-investment in environmental protection measures and over-investment in damaging practices such as overfishing.

“It is very reassuring to learn from this report that an initial public investment on the order of $5 billion over the next 10 to 20 years could be sufficient to catalyze many hundreds of billions of dollars in public and private finance,” said Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF. “We now have the right tools to identify and remove those market and policy failures which have unfortunately sped up the degradation of marine environments. Our goal is to help both the public and private sectors create clear incentives and policies which will serve to protect the world’s oceans.”

“Oceans are an integral part of life on earth, regulating our climate and producing oxygen for the planet, yet they are under serious threat due to pollution, over-exploitation, habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change,” said Andrew Hudson, Head of UNDP’s Water & Ocean Governance Programme. “We need to improve the way we manage the oceans, before the damage is irreversible.”

To learn more:

Purse seine.

Purse seining often results in high levels of bycatch, another form of ocean degradation. Photo credit: C. Ortiz Rojas, NOAA.

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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