Senator Samuda wants all hands on deck to save environment
Senator Matthew Samuda making his presentation at the UN Ocean Conference 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda is calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure better treatment of our oceans and marine environment.

Pointing out that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of ocean acidification and that greenhouse gases contribute to warming and rising sea levels, Samuda said humans generate the excesses through pollution.

He said people must make effective progress in achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 14.3 which speaks to minimising and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.

Samuda fist bumps US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.

“We must reinvigorate our efforts to fulfil our international climate change commitments as well as those that address pollution. The risks are way too great to be brushed aside — loss of biodiversity, including marine and coastal biodiversity, destruction of habitats, increased food insecurity, disruption of sustainable economic activity,” he said during his address at the UN Ocean Conference 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday.

He stressed that some of the proposed solutions and innovations are already set out in the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, Glasgow Climate Pact and the internationally agreed - oceans and biodiversity-related instruments.

“In fact, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, adopted 40 years ago in Montego Bay, Jamaica, contains provisions related to mitigation and response to these challenges. And yet, scientific data is telling us that we have not done enough,” he said.

“The political will to take the required action is missing but it must be found. Jamaica reaffirms that we all bear the responsibility to ensure that we meet the 1.5°C to stay alive and call on our partners to work assiduously with us to that end,” Samuda added.

“We have to address the gaps and urgently. There is a knowledge gap — we need to know and understand more. But to do this we need to strengthen the technical expertise across all nations for ocean monitoring.”

The conference, which will run until July 1, comes at a critical time as countries around the world grapple with several deep-rooted issues that have been unearthed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs, according to the organisers.

To mobilise action the conference will seek to propel much-needed, science-based, innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action. It will also determine the level of ambition for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

– See related story on Page 8

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