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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs