Oceans Day in Copenhagen December 14, 2009, 9:00 A.M.-10:00 P.M.

December 7, 2009

European Environment Agency

Kongens Nytorv 6

1050 Copenhagen K, Denmark

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A special day is being set aside during the U.N.-sponsored international climate talks in Copenhagen in December to stress the urgent need to protect the central role of the oceans in the Earth’s life support system and address threats faced by coastal communities, especially in developing nations and small island States. Oceans Day, December 14, will highlight the direct link between climate change, ocean health, and human well-being.

Oceans Day will be opened by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, unveiling a new Blue Initiative. The day-long events are being sponsored by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, the Government of Indonesia, and the European Environment Agency. Collaborators include a host of other governments and organizations, including the Government of the Seychelles, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and World Wildlife Fund.

“Climate change is having a profound impact on the world’s oceans,” said Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Director of the Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy, College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of Delaware and Co-Chair of the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands. “Ocean warming directly impacts humans and ocean life, from sea level rise and increased storm intensity to habitat shifts and receding coastlines. These changes severely impact vulnerable coastal areas, and will result in loss of life, infrastructure damage, and economic ruin in some areas,” she added.

Oceans Day, to be held at the European Environment Agency during the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, December 7-18, will bring together in one place the latest scientific understanding about how climate change and increased carbon emissions affect ocean and coastal ecosystems, often in more disastrous ways than outlined in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Experts will address the implications of the emerging Copenhagen agreement for oceans, coasts, and coastal communities around the globe.

“Recent science shows that the world is on track for a sea level rise of at least one, maybe two, meters by the end of the century. That would spell disaster, even disappearance, for some of the world’s small island States,” said Ambassador Dessima Williams, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States and the Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations. “To ensure the survival of small island States, we urge the international community to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 °C and stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to below 350 parts per million of CO2 equivalent levels.”

A special Web site (http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/cmp/oceans_day/index.html) has been set up to provide updated information. Media wishing to attend Oceans Day should contact Lauren McCollough at laurenmcmo@gmail.com or phone +1-202-255-3575.

The Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands (http://globaloceans.org) was first mobilized in 2001. It brings together ocean leaders from governments, non-governmental and international organizations, scientists, and the private sector to achieve the sustainable development of oceans, coasts, and islands.

SOURCE The Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands

Source: newswire

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