May 05, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 5 May 2020 – In celebration of May as the Month of the Ocean, the Climate Change Commission renewed calls for greater cooperation in protecting the environment to evade pandemics linked to wildlife, and arrest the worsening state of the global climate emergency.
With the theme, PAra sa Tao: Protected Areas for a Protected Future, the climate body said that this month-long observance is an opportune time to intensify our country’s campaign against ocean pollution, illegal wildlife trade, and other unsustainable human activities that harm the natural environment and cause ecosystems decline.
Citing the review, Rebuilding Marine Life which highlighted that oceans can be restored by 2050, the CCC encouraged a major ramp-up of efforts to address environmental issues.
Researchers found that in spite of marine biodiversity losses during the 20th century, losses have slowed and seen a resurgence during the 21st century due to a series of successful interventions. The review cited the increasing population of the nearly extinct humpback whales following the end of commercial hunting in the southwest Atlantic.
This positive outcome could last and "substantial recovery" could be achieved within two to three decades if pressures on the world's oceans were addressed.
The review, published in science journal Nature, identified climate change as one of the critical roadblocks that could delay or prevent the rehabilitation of marine life, as current trajectories of greenhouse gas emissions continues to rise, leading to a warming of 2.6 to 4.5 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, far exceeding the 1.5°C long-term goal of the Paris Agreement.
The review echoes the highlights of the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in September last year, which stressed that climate change is making the ocean less habitable for marine life as it contributes to acidification, loss of oxygen, and changes in nutrient supplies.
The CCC underscored the need for the country’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery strategy to consider biodiversity protection and the sustainable use of natural resources in our pursuit of socioeconomic recovery.
As the window of opportunity gradually closes to manage impacts of global temperature rise, the CCC stressed that only by coming together and promoting science-based decision making in all sectors could we sustain a safer, healthier environment for all.