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Global leaders launched on Feb. 12, 2013, in London a new initiative to restore health and productivity to the ocean: the Global Ocean Commission.
The Commission brings together development specialists, business leaders, and senior political figures from around the world, including ministers and former Heads of State. It is chaired by former Costa Rican President José María Figueres, South African cabinet minister Trevor Manuel and former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP.
During 2013-14, the Commission will analyze key threats to the international waters known as the ‘high seas’, which make up almost half of the Earth’s surface but are not owned by any one country. This large proportion of the global ocean is under severe and increasing pressure from overfishing, damage to important habitat, climate change and ocean acidification.
The Global Ocean Commission will publish its final recommendations early in 2014, shortly before the UN General Assembly begins discussions on protecting high seas biodiversity. “The world urgently needs to find better ways of managing the oceans, to stop abuse of its precious resources and ensure its protection for present and future generations,” said José María Figueres.