UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for an ocean science revolution to restore the marine environment.
In a video message for the launch of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, he warned that the ocean faces unprecedented threats due to human activity.
By 2050, there may be more plastic than fish in the sea. And all the world's tropical coral reefs could be dead by the end of the century if the status quo is allowed to continue, he said.
Protecting and sustainably managing the ocean is essential -- for food, livelihoods and mitigating climate disruption and related disasters, he told a high-level event organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
More than 80 percent of the ocean is unmapped and unexplored. Yet, ocean science accounts for a minuscule amount of funding, he noted.
"To restore the marine environment, we need knowledge -- an ocean science revolution. Today, we launch the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development," he said. "Restoring the ocean's ability to nurture humanity and regulate the climate is a defining challenge. It will influence the outcome of our efforts to stem biodiversity loss, implement the Paris Agreement and meet the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals."
Humans must make peace with nature to deliver a prosperous and equitable world for all, leaving no one behind, he said. "The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the fragility and vulnerability of our societies. To recover stronger and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must stop degrading the environment we depend on." Enditem