> UN-backed summit on the role of oceans in global food security

World: UN-backed summit on the role of oceans in global food security

2014/04/24

A UN-backed summit on the role of oceans in world food security, livelihoods and economic development which opened on Tuesday in The Hague, the Netherlands, said that overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution are atop its schedule for discussions.

A statement issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) about the key message of the four-day summit, which is co-organized by the World Bank and Member States, inclunding the Dutch Government, said urgent coordinated action was needed to replace the health of the world’s oceans and fasten the long-term well-being and food security of a growing world people.

It quoted Mr. Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, as saying healthy oceans had a central role to play in solving one of the biggest problems of the 21st century – how to feed 9 billion people by 2050.

He noted that, on average, 17 % of world animal protein intake came from fisheries and aquaculture, and request for fish protein was expected to double in the next 20 years.

However, some 28 % of world stocks were by presently over-fished, he said.

Additional than 500 delegates are attending the summit, inclunding ministers and senior representatives from the fishing industry, coastal communities, science and civil society.

They will discuss underlying causes that have led to the overfishing, increased marine pollution and loss of critical habitat, inclunding potential solutions.

The participants will as well look at balancing the demands for increase with conservation of marine areas, and ensuring that private sector increase does not come at the expense of protecting the livelihoods of local communities.

The summit will as well focus on blue increase which emphasizes conservation and sustainable management of aquatic resources and equitable benefits to the coastal communities that rely on them.

The term 'blue economy' stems from the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Improvment(Rio+20), and refers to food, jobs and opportunities for development provided by ocean and coastal assets.

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