Mundus maris newsletter: June 2020
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Dear <<First Name>>

The pandemic has thrown many agendas of major ocean negotiations into disarray. Earlier foot dragging now means it is increasingly difficult to meet existing time-bound commitments for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as phasing out harmful fisheries subsidies in the World Trade Organization (WTO). 2020 was to be a super-year for setting new targets for urgent biodiversity protection (CBD), CO2 emission reductions (implementing the Paris climate agreement) and finishing the negotiation to protect at least 30% of the high seas from fishing and other extractive activities. Some technical work is ongoing, but proper negotiations are delayed.

Over centuries and decades the massive decimation of all large marine animals from fish and marine mammals to turtles and birds has left a trail of extinctions and Red-listed species. Now is the time to stop the slaughter and rebuild as much as possible for higher and more economically viable yields. As humans take 40% or more of all land resources and a third of all resources in the most productive marine regions, ecosystems are fragilised and prone to extreme variations. Climate change, drought and floods, and ocean warming exacerbate these conditions. The pandemic is thus not surprising and is likely to be followed by others. It's a reminder of rethinking and retooling our approaches in more profound ways – understanding our past in the long history of our Blue Planet to live well within its boundaries in the future.
Cartoon © Bizarro
The temporary slow down reduced CO2 emissions from lower mobility and gave a short respite to some marine species when many fleets had to remain in port. It also meant hardship especially to small-scale fishers; men and women, along disrupted value chains, who have insufficient reserves to tie them over. As governments and companies struggle for exit strategies from lockdowns, these other pressing global issues may have been eclipsed largely from the media. They have, however, not gone away.

So World Ocean Day, 8 June, remains important for maintaining focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. How can we care more effectively for the ocean, our terrestrial environments and one another? How can we mend what is broken in nature and in some of our relationships?

The UN motto for World Ocean Day 2020 was “innovation for a sustainable ocean”. Fresh approaches to how we treat one another respectfully, but also reign in anti-social and anti-ecological practices, new narratives and approaches to a circular economy at all scales are warranted. Many good examples exist and need sharing and scaling up. Participate in the collective effort to produce the Book of the Marine World as a way to connect and engage.

We are happy to report that in midst these extra-ordinary times we convened our annual General Assembly online and elected a new board to drive forward the work programme adopted with fresh energy. Our main thrusts are connecting as many people as possible to the ocean through the sciences and arts, developing the Small-Scale Fisheries Academy and seeking more ways to make access to scientific knowledge, e.g. about fish, easier. We hope this way to support learning about minimum size and sustainable harvesting and decision making as consumers and in business.

We are also proud to announce that the large consortium of the “Vulnerability to Viability” (V2V) coordinated by Prateep Nayak of Waterloo University in Canada won a 7-year grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The research collaboration focuses on six case studies of small-scale fisheries in Africa and Asia respectively and will explore the conditions of their graduation to viability and prosperity. Mundus maris is a contributing partner with its work on the SSF Academy. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration.

The new opportunities also mean additional challenges to meet expectations and raise the necessary funding. Support our work with a donation.

Mundus maris asbl, Belfius Bank, Rue de Linthout 224, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
IBAN: BE54 0688 9178 6297 BIC: GKCCBEBB

Contact us any time at .

Cornelia E. Nauen and the entire Mundus maris team
Support our work with a donation

Activities around the world

World Ocean Day, 8 June, in Akure, Nigeria

Mundus maris asbl celebrated World Ocean Day in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, on June 8. Due to the COVID-19 and the National lockdown, the celebration was a low-key event in the State. The event was marked with the Community Sanitation Service (CSS) of the Mundus maris Youngster Club; sensitisation on the use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and Web participation for anybody from the Staff Secondary School, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) at home as a result of the National Lockdown.
Read the full account

An innovative event in Kribi, Cameroon

The partners of Mundus maris in Cameroon are the Ocean Volunteers. They offered a protection kit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the school group in the Center of Kribi, a seaside town of Cameroon. The donation comprised 500 face masks for children, 60 pieces of soap, 20 hydroalcoholic gels, 20 visors for teachers and six handwashers on a support of recycled plastic bottles. Recycling bottles this way instead of having them obstruct waterways and pollute the ocean is a useful start to a big challenge.
Find out more
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