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The Future of the World Ocean: The Economy and Environmental Issues

4 June 2020
Будущее Мирового океана: экономика и экологические проблемы

The online discussion on the environmental threats to the World Ocean will feature Philippe Cousteau Jr., scientist, journalist, and grandson of the famous French researcher and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, as well as other international experts. The event will be held on 8 June 2020 in honour of World Oceans Day. The session is organized by the Roscongress Foundation with the support of United Shipbuilding Corporation.

“The World Ocean is a prime source of growth for the global economy; it is a treasure of natural resources quite comparable to those of Earth surface resources. Russia is traditionally among the leading maritime powers that play an active role in research, reclamation and use of the World Ocean. Protection and care for the World Ocean resources is the prime objective to ensure the future of our entire civilization. Unfailing compliance with all signed international agreements and standards, coordination and consolidation of measures directed to preservation of the key source of life on our planet should be an unwavering priority for all states that have a part in development and use of World Ocean resources,” noted Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov.

Speakers will discuss how the current state of the World Ocean affects the Earth’s ‘health,’ evaluate preservation and rehabilitation measures, discuss the environmental effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and consider the potential of efforts to reduce damage on a global scale.

The World Ocean covers 71% of the surface of the Earth, helps preserve life on the planet, and is an integral part of the sustainable development process and an important subject of scientific research.

According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) experts, the ‘asset base’ of the World Ocean is worth at least USD 24.2 trillion. Each year the ocean provides humankind with USD 2.5 trillion in resources. Current threats include overexploitation of living marine resources, climate change, dangerous and industrial waste pollution, overfishing, piracy, and other factors.

According to a UN and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), the acidity of the World Ocean will increase by 150% by 2050 – 100 times faster than any acidic changes that the marine environment has undergone over the last 20 million years. Due to rising ocean acidity, up to 70% of corals may be destroyed by 2100. Corals are a key ecosystem for the majority of commercial fish species. Damage to ocean ecosystems can be averted by rapidly reducing global carbon gas emissions and reducing pollution.

The online session will be moderated by Philippe Cousteau Jr., and will include the participation of Paris Peace Forum President and former Director-General of the World Trade Organization (2005–2013) Pascal Lamy, photographer and biologist Cristina Mittermeier, United Shipbuilding Corporation President Alexei Rakhmanov, legendary hockey player and UN Goodwill Ambassador Vyacheslav Fetisov, Former President of the Republic of Costa Rica (1994–1998) and Antarctica2020 project founder José María Figueres, extreme sport athlete and UN Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador Lewis Pugh, and Senior High Seas Advisor to the Global Marine and Polar Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Kristina Gjerde.

World Oceans Day was officially established by the UN General Assembly in 2009 and is celebrated every year on 8 June. On this day ecologists, ichthyologists, and water centre staff from around the world coordinate their efforts to call for the protection of the ocean’s flora and fauna from the negative impact of human activity.

The session will begin broadcasting at 8 June at 12:00 and will be available via the Roscongress Foundation's electronic resources: its website, the Roscongress-TV YouTube channel, and its Facebook group.