May 10, 2009
Ocean Conference Reviews Climate Change Impact On The Future
Ministers from 70 countries will congregate in Indonesia Monday to discus how to save the world's oceans and to plan climate change discussions in December.
The five-day World Ocean Conference in Manado city is being called a unique congregation on the oceans' part in justifying climate change and the cost of higher temperatures like rising seas, loss of species and famine.
Environment, fisheries and resources ministers are anticipated to concur where the direction of the Copenhagen discussions scheduled for December will go. The nations will group together to write a successor to the Kyoto protocol, which is set to expire.
Organizers want to broaden the range of the potential climate change contract to include marine environments.
"The conference will be non-binding but it is the highest political level ocean conference done so far," said Indroyono Soesilo, the Indonesian official in charge. "If we are able to put oceans into world climate change policies it will be a success for us because it has never happened before."
"Because of global warming we will have sea level rises that will make some island nations disappear, so let's do something about that," Soesilo added.
The conference will also start an international arrangement to save the Coral Triangle, an ecosystem in Southeast Asia comparative to the biodiversity that the Amazon has.
Even as organizers convey optimism, scientists admit that data on the oceans is so incomplete that it is unknown how they will react to climate change or how they absorb carbon.
Increasing ocean research and sharing of the data acquired is anticipated to be a part of the conference.
"If you talk about marine carbon issues it's still a long way to go," The Nature Conservancy's Coral Triangle Center head Abdul Halim said. "Unless you have at least basic scientific evidence to support your argument it's really difficult for people to argue about."
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