Scientific academies of the G20 call for urgent action to protect oceans

11 March 2019

Nations must come together to protect oceans from multiple threats like plastic waste, acidification, overfishing and global warming, according to a statement jointly signed by the science academies of the G20 group.

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, says:

“Our seas and oceans are the cornerstones of the global ecosystem, and the future of humanity and other living beings on Earth depend on it. Climate change, plastic pollution, overfishing are serious threats that we cannot afford to ignore. We look forward to playing our part and working with international partners to safeguard vital marine environments for future generations.”

The G20 science academies call for:

  1. Use of expert, evidence-based advice and assessment using an ecosystem-based approach during further development of marine resources so as to minimize undesirable impacts on the marine environment
  2. Redoubling actions aiming to reduce stressors on coastal and marine ecosystems such as climate change, overfishing and pollution
  3. Establishment of more recycling and energy efficient practices at national, city and local levels, through stakeholder collaboration and science-based target setting and its follow-up
  4. Capacity building for both essential research infrastructures (including research vessels and remote and autonomous observation and survey capabilities) and human capital through education
  5. Establishment of an improved data storage and management system that ensures open access by scientists globally
  6. Sharing of information gained through research activities carried out under extensive and multinational collaboration, to expedite a comprehensive understanding of the global ocean and its dynamics

Download the full statement (PDF)

Find further information about the Royal Society’s work on oceans, climate change and resilience to extreme weather.