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The road to a blue-green recovery

25 104 24
29.05.2020

If there were ever a tide in human affairs that should be taken, this is it. A pitiless pandemic has befallen us, bringing sadness and sacrifice around the world. But when we raise our eyes, we see that skies are free of jet-stream scars, city air is clear and clean, sweet birdsong echoes down our streets. And those long-recommended modes of cyberspace office-work and meetings have become the norm.

In 2018, a special report on global warming from the IPCC told us that, "limiting global warming to 1.5 [degrees Celsius] would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". Back then, achieving unprecedented change in the short term may have seemed a tall order but not so today. And while pandemics are not the prescription for mitigating climate change, they do demonstrate possibilities.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, our chief responsibility lies in the pursuit of the common good: caring for those around us, heeding the strictures of our authorities, and supporting the heroic efforts of our essential services and health workers. But these dark times will soon end, and we will find ourselves stepping out on the road of recovery.

When we do, it is the high road to a sustainable world that we must take, not the low one returning to planet-polluting single-use plastics, profligate burning of fossil fuels and wanton denigration of nature. Human security demands that we build back better - the recovery road to a blue-green future lies ahead. The blue element of this recovery is that of a sustainable ocean economy; for the ocean covers 70 percent of the planet, is our greatest buffer against climate change, providing us with everything from food to energy, from medicine to employment, along with the oxygen of every second breath we take.

In the face of COVID-19 restrictions, to progress momentum in favour of a healthy ocean, the first week of June will witness a major global online event, the Virtual Ocean Dialogues. This series of inclusive digital convenings is being designed and hosted by the World Economic Forum and Friends of Ocean Action, with a view to producing actionable solutions in favour of conserving and........

© Al Jazeera