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SHAPING THE FUTURE Safeguarding Planet Ocean

Planet Ocean has a huge part to play within the World Future Council’s global vision of finding a pathway to a more sustainable future. Director Alexandra Wandel points to the challenges - and opportunities - that lie ahead.

What role does the ocean play when it comes to

combination of “bad policies”, such as subsidies designed

safeguarding the future of the planet? Put simply,

to increase the capacity of fishing fleets beyond what our

without the oceans, humanity cannot survive. They are a

oceans can support, and an absence of any true deterrents

crucial source of food, natural resources and energy,

has actually resulted in an acceleration of the threats to our

helping to regulate the climate whilst also producing more

oceans. Whilst a number of international agreements to

than half of the oxygen we breathe. Oceans cover over 70%

manage our oceans and coasts have since been put in place,

of the world’s surface. Yet despite their importance and their

their implementation has so far been too slow. Is there light

incredible scale, there is still so much to learn about them.

at the end of the tunnel? Yes! We are very fortunate to be

Vast seascapes remain unexplored. Only in recent decades

witnessing an emerging body of

have we begun to grasp how our actions can impact this

of which have been highlighted at the World Future

incredible environment - for better or worse.

Council’s Future Policy Awards. In this issue,

What are the biggest challenges in this

you can read more about some of the more

respect? Sadly, it seems we are our

effective

and

exemplary

environmental

own worst enemy. Unregulated fishing

policies such as the management of the

practices have left 85% of the world’s fish

Tubbataha Reefs and protection of marine life

stocks dangerously overfished. Pollution

in Palau, whose implementation have con-

has led to the destruction of vast swathes of

tributed immensely to a more sustainable marine and coastal development. How do these

marine life and the effects of climate change

solutions work? With something as vast as the ocean, a

threaten to decimate international island and coastal communities alike, through a dangerous combination of

global approach is necessary. Whilst each environmental

rising sea temperatures and sea levels. Our oceans are

issue undoubtedly necessitates its own unique approach

under

according

severe

stress.

Unless

we

act

soon,

the

to

geographical we

believe

location it

possible

and

political

to

replicate

consequences could be dire, with vast declines in

environment,

fish stock, a loss of marine bio-diversity and the

successful solutions on a global level by exchanging

destruction of coral reefs and mangrove forest covers having

experiences and knowledge across regions, countries

catastrophic consequences for all of life on earth. What are

and continents alike. It is this level of international

the key drivers behind these threats? Poor governance

engagement that the World Future Council is striving for.

and lack of regulation both have their parts to play. The toxic

6

responses, some

Profile for oceansandislands

Oceans & Islands | Issue No. 1  

The new e-magazine Oceans & Islands combines insights into exemplary marine management with news and stories from the world of private islan...

Oceans & Islands | Issue No. 1  

The new e-magazine Oceans & Islands combines insights into exemplary marine management with news and stories from the world of private islan...

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