Help #WorldOceansDay grow the movement to protect our blue planet, using #ProtectOurHome
The 2020 Focus – or theme – is all about uniting conservation action to grow a global movement calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. This essential need is called 30x30. If we can safeguard at least 30% of our ocean through a network of well protected areas, then we can ensure a healthy home for everyone!
Two things you can do:
First, sign the petition calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. Today, only 15% of land and 7% of our ocean are protected – and the aim is to protect 17% of land and 10% of ocean by the end of 2020.
Many of our world leaders however need a really good kick up the backside if these are to increase. They don’t quite seem to understand that the natural world provides critical resources which sustain life on earth. We need clean air to breathe. We need clean water to drink. We need good food to eat. We need medicines. We need the resources the natural world provides. Animals need it too.
Secondly, take a good look around the World Oceans Day website and see what is happening. There are resources you can download and use to spread the word. Some of these are for specific marine species such as sharks, rays, seals, hammerheads, turtles, dolphins and penguins. Others are for areas such as corals. And they come in different languages, too.
The Marine Conservation Society wants to help vital seagrass around the south coast of England to recover.
Seagrass exists in the shallow, sheltered waters around the UK’s coast. It forms marine meadows and these are very productive ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots, with marine life such as the spiny seahorse and the short snouted seahorse. And cuttlefish and sharks breed here. They are also nurseries for Pollock, cod and plaice.
The climate is changing fast, and the impact is clear to see - bushfires, floods, storms, temperatures which are soring, melting ice sheets.
Seagrass can help tackle the changing climate. It is a flowering plant, and it lives underwater around the UK's coast in shallow, sheltered waters. Crucially, it absorbs 10% of the carbon buried in ocean sediment every year - so it's a great weapon in tackling global warming. The MCS says that it's estimated that seagrass around the UK shores can absorb and store at least as much carbon per hectare as trees in UK woodlands!
The problem is that a major threat to seagrass comes from traditional moorring methods - anchors and chais drag along the seabed.
If these traditional moorings can be repaced with advanced systems, where chains are raised off the seabed, it will be possible to regenerate marine meadows.
The MCS has trialled these and discovered that they work! So they want to expand it to five marine protected areas. This will enable them to better lock in carbon and be a safe protected habitat for seahorses, cuttlefish and juvenile fish.
The Marine Conservation Society needs to install advanced moorings to help replace damaging anchoring methods and let seagrass recover. And they are asking for donations to help them do just that.
How appeal donations will help seagrass and seahorses
£10 could help them replant 1 square meter of seagrass;
£20 could help divers monitor the recovery of seagrass beds where advanced mooring systems are installed.
£30 could help them to cultivate 10,000 seagrass plants.
£35 could help advise boaters, walkers and abait collectors on how to protect seagrass beds and other sensitive habits.
£200 could help get old, damaging moorings in seagrass beds removed, ready for the new eco-friendly ones.
The Goal of the Appeal:
The goal is to raise £105,000 to install over 75 advanced moorings that will replace traditional, damaging anchoring methods and enable seagreass to recover.
It’s a global campaign and it’s dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for countries around the world to co-operate in their efforts to save them.
This year, the theme is “Birds Connect Our World”.
It was picked to highlight how important it is to conserve and restore the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems which support the natural cycles that are essential for migratory birds to survive and thrive.
The day gives us all an opportunity to discover more about migratory birds and be in awe at their amazing feats.
Migratory birds need networks with stops
Migratory birds travel far. They need to be able to stop to rest and feed and breed. If you like, you could liken it as a journey along a motorway system and every so often, they need to stop for a break to fill their tummies and have a break.
Birds need networks of sites
They need a network of sites along these routes to breed, to feed, to rest and spend the winter. They need different sites and habitats, irrelevant of which country they are in. They can cross incredible distances and over impossible terrains such as deserts and open seas. They cross national borders and soar above any national agenda. What they do need is for countries to co-operate to ensure their routes are kept open and safe for them.
Examples of migratory birds’ routes
The East Asian – Australasian Flyway goes from the Russian Far East and Alaska through East Asia and South-East Asia, down to Australia and New Zealand – 22 countries in all. The Flyway is home to over 50 million migratory waterbirds from over 250 different populations. They need a system of wetlands to rest, feed and build up the energy they need for the next part of their journey.
RSPB has information about the Arctic tern who travels a rather amazing 22,000 miles a year – the longest migration of all – as they move continually between the Arctic summer and the Antarctic summer.
So you can see how important it is that countries work together to give these birds the flight paths they need, with all the facilities along the way.
What can be done at a national/international level:
Increase action globally via environment treaties such as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Africa-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). These are vital to protect migratory birds on their international flight paths.
Creating habitat corridors which are protected and which go across boundaries would really help animals who migrate and fly over national boundaries.
Networks of crucial sites which are imperative to migration needs must be safeguarded and managed properly. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas as described by BirdLife International give migratory birds all they need during their long flights - necessary feeding, breeding, nesting and sheltering grounds.
What individuals like you & me can do:
Have a bird-friendly garden with safe shelters and a bird bath. Give them bird food. Put feeders out of reach of cats.
Spread the word about how important it is to protect migratory birds.
Download and use birding apps – it’s a great way to connect to like-minded bird lovers.
Sometimes you see something on the internet or on television that really hits you hard and makes a point extremely well.
I saw this video, this afternoon, and I wanted to share it with you. Please share it with everyone you can.
The ultimate message is that we SHARE this planet. It demonstrates how dominant the human race has become - and how selfish. I am not going to tell you anymore about it - please just watch it for yourself. Here it is: