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Ocean and biodiversity: ecological innovation to the rescue of an endangered marine life
From August 20th to August 23rd, Surfrider Foundation Europe is setting up the Ocean Pavilion for four days of meetings prior to Biarritz’s G7 summit that should allow ocean preservation to be a part of the diplomatic negotiations. Throughout conferences and discussions, the Ocean Pavilion will focus on four thematics, among which declining marine biodiversity, a key issue that will have its own dedicated day (on August 21st) within this exceptional event.
The ocean, a threatened life source
The ocean is a source of life. Millions of species, whether fauna or flora, depend on it. Through a symbiotic relationship, these species allow in return for oceans to be healthy and regulate climate. A rich and profuse marine biodiversity is vital for Earth’s ecosystem to function correctly.
Unfortunately, this both resilient and fragile balance has never been more threatened. The pressures it has to endure are as numerous as they are worrisome, and human responsibility can no longer be dismissed. Overexploitation of resources, various pollutions, and the global effects of climate change count among the many perturbations that have already started to degrade our planet’s oceanic ecosystems.
Marine species are especially affected by the massive extinction movement that’s hitting global biodiversity. Within only a few decades, the oceanic fauna was considerably reduced to a point that by 2050, the oceans are estimated to contain more plastic than they will fish. Half of coral reefs have disappeared in the last thirty years, and these specific types of wildlife are producing natural services that are essential to marine life and to the coastal populations. Marsh’s ecosystems such as mangroves - also true ecological breeding tanks - are in severe danger due to deforestation. And today, many great sea mammals are endangered because of overfishing.
Engaging each and every sector in an innovative transition
If this extinction dynamic is in part due to overexploitation of the oceans by men, it doesn’t necessarily means it is bound to persist and worsen. Reducing the pressures that weigh on this environment is possible. And it is precisely that intent Surfrider Europe is trying to put forward with the Ocean Pavilion.
To aim at a smarter and more reasonable consumption of resources means allowing new practices that won’t threaten wildlife to emerge. Innovation, when put to use for sustainability, sets a reliable and efficient way to achieve that goal. Without endangering life, and by rather choosing to consider it a source of inspiration, biomimetic is a path that needs to be privileged.
In order to do so, each and every sector of the society needs to be involved. The food service industry has to play a key part of that transition process and it is today actively encouraged to do so by Surfrider Foundation. The population too, individually or as a collective, plays a major role in marine life protection through a global change of habits. Innovative and ambitious preservation and restoration measures for oceanic ecosystems are also expected from the scientific community. As diverse as these implications are, they must be guided by one unique goal: to protect a marine life that is dying.
On August 21st’s program: the ocean as source of innovation through biomimetic will make for a first part, when a second part will be dedicated to the foodservice industry and its engagement towards the ocean. Personalities from the civil, scientific and political worlds will be invited to speak throughout the event. Two talks will be live streamed and the day will end with an exhibit of artistic pieces especially created for the Ocean Pavilion at Surfrider Foundation’s headquarters.