Despite early hope of help for oceans issues at Rio+20 the outcome of the conference does nothing to advance the cause of ocean’s conservation or ease the perfect storm of pressures that are engulfing marine ecosystems.

Despite early hope of help for oceans issues at Rio+20 the outcome of the conference does nothing to advance the cause of ocean’s conservation or ease the perfect storm of pressures that are engulfing marine ecosystems.

The outcome document is an exercise in platitudes and a wholly inappropriate response to the grave and pressing environmental threats facing the world, its seas and oceans.

Talk of an implementing agreement under UNCLOS to protect high seas biodiversity remained just talk, with only a vague commitment to agree something in the future. A proposal for a global action plan on marine litter came to nothing with the issue getting only the most cursory of mentions. And on overfishing the agreement is little more than a restatement of the commitment that was made at the previous Earth Summit ten years ago!

More generally the agreement’s manipulation of the concept of sustainability such that world leaders committed themselves to something as inherently illogical and unsustainable as “sustained growth” should set alarm bells ringing around the world.