Main themes of the Congress:
Just about 3% of the oceans is free from human activity. The excessive exploitation of the marine resources has an enormous impact on the marine species and ecosystems. The temperature rise, the ocean acidification, the excessive fishing, the plastic pollution, pesticides, and other chemical products have a negative impact on humanity and marine life.
It is urgent to stop the marine species loss and the ecosystem decline, and there is a need to join forces to promote and apply sustainable fishing practices, to protect the coastal and marine biodiversity and to restore the degraded habitats.
The goal of stopping the loss of biodiversity will only be attained if a global marine protected area network takes into account the indigenous people and local communities’ rights.
The gas emissions that promote the greenhouse effect increased progressively during the last decade, despite the current and future threat shown by the climate change. The average global temperature increased 1°C compared with the pre-industrial levels and continue to rise.
It is not possible to delay for much longer the action to the two global crises: the climate change and the loss of biodiversity. The plans to deal with these effects will only be successful if there is political implementation of the necessary changes in economy and society to protect the life on Earth.
The actions to fight climate change have the goal to protect nature around us and the natural systems upon we all depend. If we take care of the soil, forests, and water, we will be able to face better the climate change and its consequences.
The decrease of greenhouse effect gases will not be enough to avoid the impact of climate change. Great amounts of carbon need to be removed and stored. Scientists point as a solution the use of oceans as carbon sinkholes though marine algae farming and water nutrient manipulation.
The soil stores carbon, in organic phase and it is the second largest reservoir of carbon on Earth after the oceans.
In the last decades the soil capacity to capture and store carbon decreased due to the way land was being used. However, the return to forest and farming good practices can increase this capture capacity again.
The forests capture greenhouse effect gases though photosynthesis and help with the planet cooling, being very important in the fight against climate change.
The forests are being knocked down at an alarming speed, deforestation accelerates climate change and alters the rain and habitats’ patterns.
Biodiversity or biological diversity can be defined as the variability between beings of all origins, terrestrial, marine, and aquatic ecosystems. The variability can vary according to the different ecological regions, meaning that it is the variation on planet Earth including the genetic variation among populations and species, the diversity of plant and animal species and fungus and microorganisms.
The whole planet’s biodiversity is threatened by human action. The main threats to the biodiversity are pollution, forest destruction, climate change, introduction of exotic species and excessive exploitation of natural resources.
Pollution is a threat to biodiversity due to the changes it causes in the environment, which makes it impossible for several species to survive. The death of algae, fish and other marine organisms is an example of the consequences in the aquatic environment.
Deforestation leads to the disappearance of countless plant species and promotes the habitat destruction of several animal species.
Another factor that affects biodiversity is the introduction of exotic invasive species that lack predators in the new territories and because of that multiply rapidly competing directly with the native species.
Another factor that affects biodiversity is the excessive exploitation of natural resources due to the human consumerism.