Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ocean damage control

I just got back with Cristina (the Varda Group's latest incorporation) from the Fisheries Ministers' conference in Baiona, where we've facilitated the input of the environmental NGOs present.

In the NGO statement released in response to the Ministerial outcome document adopted yesterday, we highlight the ministers' recognition that "a new scenario" (a shift) is needed to stop further destruction of ocean life, even though it is not clear if and when this new commitment will be turned into effective action. (Concrete measures and a time-table are missing in the ministers' statement, as I am reported as saying to the Spanish Minister in this morning's El País newspaper)

In the NGO statement we're listing eight key elements that must be part of the now promised "new scenario". If these eight elements aren't implemented, the Fisheries Ministers will miss the boat of sustainability and fail.

[One reason for being so cautious in our response is that during the two-days conference we've essentially been doing damage control, putting our fingers in the dyke each time someone (government officials or industry representatives) made suggestions that would have brought us to the opposite of sustainability.]

As marine biodiversity is shrinking at an alarming rate, it's still unclear what will be left when the "new scenario" is in place.

We're only just at the beginning of a long road.

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