We show that the high seas are colonized by a diverse array of coastal species, which survive and reproduce in the open ocean, contributing strongly to its foating community composition. Analysis of rafting plastic debris in the eastern North Pacifc Subtropical Gyre revealed 37 coastal invertebrate taxa, largely of Western Pacifc origin, exceeding pelagic taxa richness by threefold. Coastal taxa, including diverse taxonomic groups and life history traits, occurred on 70.5% of debris items.
Every year, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems is estimated between 9-14 million tons and this projection could nearly triple to 23-37 million tons per year by 2040. A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has revealed that there are now over 150 million tonnes of plastics in the oceans. That's about one tonne of plastics for every three tonnes of fish. If the trend continues, plastics will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050. This results in risks to human health and well-being through ingestion of seafood and fish contaminated with plastics.
Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, also referred to as ALDFG or ghost gear, is the most harmful form of marine plastic litter for marine animals and habitats: it can impede safe navigation, damage beaches and reefs, and lead to economic losses for fisheries and other marine-dependent industries across the globe. While there are no current estimates of the amount of ALDFG in the ocean, a growing body of evidence has documented high rates of ALDFG in fisheries around the world.
IMPACTS OF PLASTIC POLLUTION ON FRESHWATER AQUATIC, TERRESTRIAL AND AVIAN MIGRATORY SPECIES IN THE ASIA AND PACIFIC REGION
This report is the result of a collaboration between the Convention on Migratory Species and the UN Environment Programme as part of the CounterMEASURE II plastic pollution programme, generously funded by the Government of Japan, to assess the impact of plastic pollution in the Asia-Pacific region. It was prepared for the CMS Secretariat by the National Oceanography Centre, UK. This report is an important addition to knowledge on the threat of plastic pollution on CMS-listed species in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in the region.
Human pressure mapping is important for understanding humanity’s role in shaping Earth’s patterns and processes. We provide the latest maps of the terrestrial human footprint and provide an assessment of change in human pressure across Earth. Between 2000 and 2013, 1.9 million km2 of land relatively free of human disturbance became highly modified. Our results show that humanity’s footprint is eroding Earth’s last intact ecosystems and that greater efforts are urgently needed to retain them.
Mining in developing countries remains controversial since a huge impact on the cultural climate, the physical environs and the socio-economic status of the local people can result. Mining operations and their mining waste disposal methods are considered one of the main sources of environmental degradation. Social awareness of this problem is of a global nature and government actions to stem the damage to the natural environment have led to numerous international agreements and laws directed toward the prevention of activities and events that may adversely affect the environment.
'The Future is Now: Science for Sustainable Development' - Global Sustainable Development Report 2019
Despite considerable efforts these past four years, we are not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. We must dramatically step up the pace of implementation as we enter a decisive decade for people and the planet. We must connect the dots across all that we do – as individuals, civic groups, corporations, municipalities and Member States of the United Nations – and truly embrace the principles of inclusion and sustainability. Science is our great ally in the efforts to achieve the Goals.
Vanuatu signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) joining other 190 CBD parties to protect our global biodiversity. Vanuatu’s first National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) was developed and endorsed in November 1999. Revision of this NBSAP has led Vanuatu to develop this new NBSAP (2018-2030). This revised NBSAP indicates the progress, successes and gaps that lie within the organisational, systemic and individual capacities at national, provincial and community levels to protect, conserve and wisely use our biodiversity.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), has prepared this Pacific Marine Litter Action Plan (MLAP). The primary focus of MLAP is marine sourced litter, but it also covers terrestrial based marine litter point sources as outlined in the Cleaner Pacific 2025.
This report updates the 1992 State of Environment report with the latest findings from the Marshall Islands. Environmental reporting is defined as a requirement for RMI in the ‘Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC) Act 2003’. The present report results from a concerted effort of all national stakeholders with OEPPC being the lead agency working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in gathering information from national stakeholders to compile this report.