UN Secretary General Guterres says world's oceans are facing unprecedented threat

The ongoing five-day United Nations Ocean Conference, as the large gathering of world leaders, politicians, environmentalists and ocean experts under the UN auspices in NY is being called, is also turning out to be a platform for some to vent their anger and frustration against the US, following the announcement by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the painstakingly hammered out agreement of Paris against climate change. In particular among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 14 highlights the need to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources to benefit present and future generations.

Recalling the borderless nature of the ocean, Conference Co-President Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, expressed hope for the Conference to be the "game changer" the ocean needs.

World leaders will convene at the United Nations headquarters this week for the first major bid to solve the toughest problems facing our oceans, ranging from coral bleaching and plastic pollution to overfishing and rising seas.

Representatives of almost 200 countries convened at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City for the five-day conference that also marked World Environment Day on Monday.

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Individual nations and advocacy groups are already announcing voluntary steps they will take to conserve oceans and protect marine life.

He said the conference may become the best opportunity ever "to reverse the cycle of decline that human activity has brought upon the ocean". "The health of our oceans and seas requires us to put aside short-term national gain to avoid long-term global catastrophe".

As for practices on marine ecosystem protection, China is taking actions to promote management of coastal zone and watershed sea areas, Lin noted.

Also addressing the thousands of participants - including heads of State and Government, civil society representatives, business people, as well as actors, and ocean and marine life advocates - was the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson. If things don't change, we could see more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.

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Thomson said the conference probably represents the best opportunity ever "to reverse the cycle of decline that human activity has brought upon the ocean" and spur action to meet the United Nations goal for 2030 to conserve and manage the ocean's resources.

"Countries also agreed to develop and implement effective adaptation and mitigation measures that will contribute to ocean and coastal acidification, sea-level rise, and increase in ocean temperatures, and to address the other harmful impacts of climate change on the ocean".

This "has made it the main threat to mother Earth and life itself", Morales said.

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