MANILA, Philippines — The waters of the world play a very important role in all aspects of human life, providing food, employment, and other benefits. Two thirds of the world’s population lives within 400 kilometers of the sea, and over half of the world’s population lives in coastal areas. As many as half billion people draw their livelihood from the sea in one way or another while the marine ecosystems hold 80 percent of life on planet Earth.
With the rise in the world population, the use of the ocean and its resources has increased as has the devastation that results from the accumulation of pollutants into the marine environment. Pollution has an effect on the entire marine ecosystem, public health, and our marine resources. A rising tide of sewage from both land and the ocean is threatening the wealth and health of many of the world’s seas and oceans, especially in developing countries where 90 percent of sewage entering the coastal zones is raw untreated.
With the aim of protecting the marine environment from land-based activities, the Global Conference on Land-Ocean Connection (GLOC) and the Intergovernmental Review (IGR-3) will be held on January 23-27, 2012. The United Nations Environment Program Secretariat invited the Philippines to host the conference and the country welcomed the opportunity to showcase its accomplishments, efforts, and successes in promoting its environment, particularly its marine and coastal resources which have been dubbed one of the world’s centers of marine biodiversity.
Delegates, including environmental ministers from Asia-Pacific countries, will provide inputs for a Manila Declaration that will go to the forthcoming Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil (Rio+20) summit.
With more than 60 countries joining the global effort to conserve and reverse the decline in the health of the world’s oceans and seas, there is the highest possibility of ensuring the ocean’s survival for future generations, and we must all do our best to protect it. MABUHAY!