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Not too late yet to save Pacific Ocean
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Although threats on the Pacific Ocean were serious, it was not too late to take decisive action to prevent almost-certain future catastrophes that would booster a critical part of the life of the Earth, a scientists consensus in the Indonesia-hosted World Ocean Conference recommended on Wednesday.

The consensus said that it identified and prioritized key threats to the health and productivity of the Pacific Ocean, highlighted the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of theses threats and outlined a 'road map' that identified available solutions for these broad categories of threats.

"We choose the Pacific Ocean to be our research location because more than 130 million people rely on it for making a living and it has a very rich biodiversity," said Margareth Caldwell from the Stanford University.

The scientists' data showed that the Pacific Ocean is the largest single geographic on the Earth. It represents half of the world's ocean area, occupies one-third of the Earth's surface and helps support hundreds of million people.

The ocean contains a complex ecosystem and supports ocean-based economies that produce a wealth of resources for local and global benefit. The Pacific is also the engine room of the Earth's climate and the storeroom off its ocean biodiversity.

"However, the Pacific Ocean is not being managed sustainably. A host of interacting impacts threatens the future of the human communities around it, the future of life within the Pacific and the future of our global climate," said the consensus.

According to the consensus, across these diverse areas, there area three challenges, namely habitat destruction, pollution from sewage and land run-off, and over fishing. It is complicated by climate change that imperiled all Pacific ecosystems, already creating pulses of warm water, hypoxic dead zones and acidic conditions.

These threats interact with one another to damage natural ecosystems, reduce biological and human economic diversity, destroy productivity and make human use of sea more difficult.

The scientists recommended all governments to act now because it was a key moment when the world was negotiating a new climate regime to move people toward 'new paradigm of low carbon economy.'

"Time is not a luxury for many of the world's islands and coastal communities," said Biliana Cicin-Sain, the Co-Chair and Head of Secretariat for Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands.

Previously, Indonesia also urged the world to take action now on ecosystem management and climate change that threatened oceans.

(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2009)

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