We Need to Slow down and Reconnect with Our Ocean for the Future of the Planet
By Stuart MinchinJun 8 2020 (IPS) COVID19 has brought the world to a halt. The devastating impact of the global pandemic on people’s lives and the world’s economy is a jarring and historic turning point for all of us but it is also an opportunity to re-think many of our practices. As we mark World Oceans Day, the current global slowdown may be the reset our Ocean needs and the Pacific region is asking the world to reflect on our past to inform innovation for our future. COVID has disrupted the global transport sector massively, and the increasing reliance on global shipping as flights are grounded presents both challenges and opportunities for the safety and livelihoods of the Pacific region. More than 16,000 Pacific people work in the Maritime sector, many of whom remain stranded in foreign countries or on vessels as a result of COVID19. Across the Pacific, local restrictions have severely curtailed access to supplies like fuel for local fishing boats, bringing to the fore the issue of food security and the need for longer term, sustainable solutions. As we mark World Oceans Day this year, we should challenge ourselves to find the opportunities inherent in this crisis to improve our ocean management and stewardship. This can only be accomplished by shifting the status quo and the current global slowdown may be just the reset our Ocean needs. Our Blue Pacific region is 98 per cent ocean and Pacific Islanders are custodians of 20 per cent of the world’s excl...
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