News / Africa

Summit Pledges to Save the Oceans

A man fishes on the Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, April 10, 2014. Many had hoped authorities tackle decades of neglect and poor planning that have blighted waterways, after Rio's Olympic committee pledged in writing that the pollution of Guanabara Bay will be fixed. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A man fishes on the Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, April 10, 2014. Many had hoped authorities tackle decades of neglect and poor planning that have blighted waterways, after Rio's Olympic committee pledged in writing that the pollution of Guanabara Bay will be fixed. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
The summit on protecting the world’s oceans ended Friday, with a call to tackle the major threats of climate change, overfishing, habitat loss and pollution. The Global Oceans Action Summit for Blue Growth and Food Security was held in The Hague.
 
A joint initiative on ocean health was announced by the Netherlands -- the summit host country -- the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank and summit organizers.
 
Valerie Hickey of the World Bank said the summit was a success.
 
“I think this was the first time that over 600 people came together to align agendas across the conservation and growth fields to discuss how can we actually commit to action to support broad-based blue growth, food security. This was about making sure that we can invest in the oceans in a way that alleviates poverty, that shares broad prosperity, while turning down the heat.”
 
Hickey, World Bank’s sector manager for agriculture and environmental services, said broad agreement was possible at the oceans summit -- unlike many summits on climate change.
 
“This was the Global Oceans Action Summit. This was not an inter-government where we were negotiating text. This was an opportunity for the over 80 ministers, leaders from the private sector and civil society to sit down together and make commitments to real action in real time. This was an opportunity to take our hats off – to not speak simply from government positions – to move beyond our positions and start talking about real commitments in real time,” she said.
 
She said that agreement was reached on a three part approach to protecting the oceans. The first would set-up partnerships.
 
“We need to bring in the private sector. We need to increase our investments in small and medium size enterprises. Because at the end of the day it’s local communities – it’s family fishers – it’s small-scale fishers – who are going to drive broad-based blue growth in the ocean space. We also talked about governance. We talked about the fact that we need to accelerate action to make sure we can eliminate illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing,” said Hickey.
 
The third part of the strategy, she said, calls for financing from new places and new partners to support blue growth programs. Hickey says she’s confident these recommendations will move from commitment to action.
 
“Absolutely,” she said, “I can say personally that we, as the World Bank, are committed to following up on the actions that we promised to do after the summit. It includes helping countries to undertake natural capital accounting of their ocean resources so they can begin to realize real returns from their ocean assets in a sustainable way – in a broad-based way – that returns benefits to those local communities and small-scale fishers, who rely for food security for their livelihoods – for their income – on the oceans.”
 
Also commenting on the outcome of the oceans summit was Netherlands Agriculture Minister Sharon Dijksma, chair of the summit. She says, “The world community has shown courage and boldness to move ahead and take action on ocean health and food security.”

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More