Bildtext får vara max två rader text. Hela texten ska högerjusteras om den bara ska innehålla fotobyline! Photo: B. Christensen/Azote
Amid policy disagreements, the oceans continue to suffer
- Oceans and the vital services they provide to human societies are under extreme pressure
- A lack of consensus on what makes an ocean healthy hinders restoration efforts
- Understanding the broader social components of our relationship with oceans is necessary to restore a healthy ocean and safeguard human health
No one agrees on what a healthy ocean looks like. That is bad news in a time when tough decisions on conservation are needed
UNHEALTHY DEFINITIONS: No matter where in the world we live, our lives are directly affected by the health of our oceans. But our oceans are sick, and have been for a while.
So what’s keeping them from bouncing back to full health? It’s partly down to no one agreeing on what a healthy ocean looks like, making it hard to settle on the best course of action.
Although there are several accepted ways of measuring ocean health, they each have a different focus. None get to grips with the intricacies of how human health and well-being are linked to and influence the preservation of these giant bodies of saltwater.
A wider definition
In a perspective paper recently published in One Earth, centre researcher Thorsten Blenckner together with an international team of colleagues unpack the confusion surrounding the term “ocean health”.
They call for a wider definition of the term in order to move forward with measures that can restore a healthy ocean and protect human health and well-being.
Only with a clear ocean health concept together with transdisciplinary research we can restore healthy oceans.
Thorsten Blenckner, co-author
Tough decisions to be taken
Current understandings used to guide policies to protect ocean health only partially capture the broader social components of our relationship with the ocean.
“There are tough decisions to be taken,” says Blenckner.
“Do we actively intervene with controversial conservation measures to stop coral reefs bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef? We can only make these kinds of decisions when we agree on a definition and a target of a healthy ocean that goes beyond jobs and livelihoods to integrate ethical values, human health and well-being, along with traditional marine ecosystem services.”
Podcast: our oceans are suffering, how can we make them healthy again?
Franke, A., Blenckner, T., Duarte, C.M., et.al. 2020. Operationalizing Ocean Health: Toward Integrated Research on Ocean Health and Recovery to Achieve Ocean Sustainability. One Earth, Perspective, Vol. 2, Issue 6, P557-565, June 19, 2020
For more information about the study, please contact co-author Thorsten Blenckner:
Research news | 2022-11-25
Successes and shortfalls: reflections on COP27
In the wake of COP27, we gather reflections from centre staff who were involved on the ground.
Research news | 2022-11-25
Access to greenery and water goes hand in hand with human wellbeing during the pandemic
Green wedges and large nature areas are especially important for the young, elderly and unemployed, a new comparative study finds.
Research news | 2022-11-22
Fair access to water is a subjective issue in post-drought Cape Town
Who should pay for and benefit from water services? It depends on who you ask, finds a study that revisited Cape Town after its 2015-2018 water crisis
General news | 2022-11-15
Centre researchers listed among the world's most influential scientists
Carl Folke, Johan Rockström, Thomas Elmqvist, Per Olsson, Max Troell and Jonathan Donges ranked as some of the globally most cited researchers
Research news | 2022-11-14
In data scarce regions, fieldwork and historical images help researchers fill in the gaps
Researchers combined current data with historical images and inputs from previous studies to estimate how ecosystem services have changed over time in northern Burkina Faso
Research news | 2022-11-10
Fair global redistribution of resources is key for planetary stability
Redistributing resources and transforming society are necessary to ensure universal access to basic needs while staying within Earth’s limits