5th June – World Environment Day 2015

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The World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle to encourage people to take action for the environment. Since 2000, WED has grown to be a global platform, widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

WED_Banners_5.20.15_2-07The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. Evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide. Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. The WED theme this year is therefore “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” Living within planetary boundaries is the most promising strategy for ensuring a healthy future.

DEVOTES scientists are deeply involved in understanding which are the socio-economic implications of  management practices and how the monitoring programmes can support the development of management practice for a sustainable use of our environment.

In particular, we invite you to read one of the DEVOTES recent publications, J. Carstensen (leader of the Work Package 6) entitled “Need for monitoring and maintaining sustainable marine ecosystem services“. Increases in human population and their resource use have drastically intensified pressures on marine ecosystem services. The oceans have partly managed to buffer these multiple pressures, but every single area of the oceans is now affected to some degree by human activities. Chemical properties, biogeochemical cycles and food-webs have been altered with consequences for all marine living organisms. Knowledge of these pressures and associated responses mainly originate from analyses of a few long-term monitoring time series as well as spatially scattered data from various sources. Although the interpretation of these data can be improved by models, there is still a fundamental lack of information and knowledge if scientists are to predict more accurately the effects of human activities. Scientists provide expert advice to society about marine system governance, and such advice should rest on a solid base of observations. Nevertheless, many monitoring programmes around the world are currently facing financial reduction. Marine ecosystem services are already overexploited in some areas and sustainable use of these services can only be built on a solid scientific basis, which requires more observations than are presently available.

The publication is available (open access) in the DEVOTES Zenodo Community at the link
http://zenodo.org/record/11265

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Message from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations:

“The goal of sustainable development is to increase the quality of life for all people without increasing environmental degradation, and without compromising the resource needs of future generations. We can do this by shifting our consumption patterns towards goods that use less energy, water and other resources, and by wasting less food. In this year of transformation, when we hope to see great advances on sustainable development and climate change, let us celebrate World Environment Day by becoming more conscious of our ecological impact. Let us think about the environmental consequences of the choices we make. Let us become better stewards of our planet.”

More information on the World Environment Day:  http://www.unep.org/wed