UNEP official calls for conservation of ocean species amid climate change threats

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 15, 2019
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NAIROBI, March 15 (Xinhua) -- A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) official on Friday called on countries to conserve the coastlines to keep coral reefs and mangroves safe.

Gabriel Grimsditch, program management officer at UNEP, warned that the condition of the coastal marine life is threatened by advancing climate change effects.

"About 20 percent to 30 percent of corals are bleached and, overtime, slow degradation is happening as a result of pollution, over fishing and use of destructive fishing gears," Grimsditch told delegates attending a side event at the fourth session of UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

Grimsditch said that a recent study by the UNEP shows lives of hundreds of people who depend on healthy water reef ecosystems are at risk.

He noted that climate change and pollution are further threatening the fragile ecosystems due to the abundance of marine litter that are found nearly in all water bodies as they are trans-boundary.

"More than 800 species that thrive in the oceans and seas have encountered marine litter, majority of which being plastics," said Grimsditch.

He called for a joint global action to help save the water environment since thousand pieces of lost or abandoned fishing gears are threatening the existence of the world's oceans as they kill marine life indiscriminately.

The official challenged governments to harness mangroves and other marine products to help communities earn income through the sale of carbon credits to organizations that are engaged in reducing their carbon footprint.

Grimsditch challenged countries neighboring the oceans and seas to develop joint programs and also share experiences in the management of marine life.

"The governments in collaboration with the manufacturing industry must develop policies and strategies to guide production and disposal of marine litter," he added. Enditem

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