At COP23 in Bonn, Germany, representatives of small islands and of countries with important coastal areas had called on the international community to do more to protect the oceans. <br/> Photo: Thomas Imo/phototek.net

At COP23 in Bonn, Germany, representatives of small islands and of countries with important coastal areas had called on the international community to do more to protect the oceans.
Photo: Thomas Imo/phototek.net

Germany supports better ocean protection

At the World Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has announced that it is raising its contribution to the Blue Action Fund, thus boosting its global marine conservation efforts.

Germany’s Development Ministry will be contributing an additional twelve million euros to the Blue Action Fund for nature conservation. According to the BMZ, this money could for example be spent on designating new marine conservation areas in developing countries or on sustainable small-scale fishing and sustainable tourism.

At the World Climate Conference, Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller explained on the 15th November that marine conservation was a survival issue for humankind as a whole. Without the oceans and seas, we would run out of air, for they produced half of the oxygen available world-wide and stored a quarter of global CO2 emissions.

In all, the German Development Ministry was contributing more than 400 million euros to developing countries for marine conservation and the sustainable use of seas and oceans, Müller noted.

Fiji and other small island nations had called on the international community in Bonn to do more to protect the oceans. In future negotiations, oceans and seas should therefore play a more central role.

Terrestrial life depends on healthy oceans, and this applies not only to the island nations. However, climate change is heating up the oceans and raising their acidity, which harms marine organisms. The dying of the coral reefs also spells the end of habitats for important fish stocks. In developing countries, fishing contributes to the livelihoods of 500 million people and provides them with valuable food. Sea-level rise and cyclones, which are becoming stronger and stronger, are also having a particularly severe impact on Island nations such as Kiribati, Palau or the Maldives.
 
(BMZ/wi)