Global Ocean Refuge System to Help Resilience of the World’s Oceans and Humankind

Recent Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Points to Need for Marine Biodiversity Protections

Marine Conservation Institute, a leader in protecting marine biodiversity, today highlighted its Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES, pronounced glôr-ees) as a way to increase the resilience of the world’s oceans. This comes on the heels of the recent “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” Summary for Policymakers draft by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that provides further scientific evidence that climate change is real and is negatively impacting marine ecosystems.

GLORES is an initiative by Marine Conservation Institute designed to catalyze strong protection for at least 20% of the ecosystems in each marine biogeographic region of the world’s oceans by 2030. It is a strategic, science-based way to safeguard marine ecosystems and will enable humans to recover the diversity and abundance of marine life now and in the future. By establishing consistent criteria for determining the most important locations and protection levels needed to save species and their habitats from harm, GLORES will provide standards that the world can use to evaluate the effectiveness of marine protected areas.

According to the draft IPCC report:

  • Many marine species have shifted their geographic ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns, abundances, and species interactions in response to ongoing climate change.
  • Due to projected climate change by the mid-21st century and beyond, global marine-species redistribution and marine-biodiversity reduction in sensitive regions will challenge the sustained provision of fisheries productivity and other ecosystem services.
  • Spatial shifts of marine species due to projected warming will cause high-latitude invasions andhigh local-extinction rates in the tropics and semi-enclosed seas.
  • The progressive expansion of oxygen minimum zones and anoxic “dead zones” is projected to further constrain fish habitat.
  • Climate change adds to the threats of over-fishing and other non-climatic stressors, thus complicating marine management regimes.

“The IPCC report underscores the necessity for accelerated steps to protect marine life: the oceans are losing critical marine biodiversity and this will lead to countless problems for humans on this precious Earth of ours,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute. “Our Global Ocean Refuge System initiative will help the oceans be more resilient and, in turn, help humankind be more resilient.”

About Marine Conservation Institute 
Marine Conservation Institute is a team of highly-experienced marine scientists and environmental policy advocates dedicated to saving ocean life for us and future generations. The organization’s goal is to help create an urgently-needed worldwide system of strongly protected areas—the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES)—a strategic, cost-effective way to ensure the future diversity and abundance of marine life. Founded in 1996, Marine Conservation Institute is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization with offices in Seattle, near San Francisco and in Washington DC.  For more information, please go to: www.marine-conservation.org

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By the Sea Communications
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