Oceanographer Sylvia Earle: “There are more jobs and sustainable ways to make a living if we don’t destroy nature”

Prominent American oceanographer Sylvia Earle arrived in Chile to attend Future Congress 2023. While that was the main focus of her trip, the marine biologist arrived just days before the vote in which the Committee of Ministers voted against the project port mining Dominga, which threatens the biodiversity of the Humboldt Archipelago and surrounding areas.

The day before the vote, the director of Mission Blue delivered a letter to the Ministry of the Environment on behalf of the Humboldt Alliance, a group of civil society organizations that have come together to protect the archipelago of the same name, a place I had visited for its rich biodiversity, the same in which 80% of the world’s Humboldt penguin population is found.

“People are concerned about the consequences of mining. The main topic is jobs, but there are more jobs and more lasting ways to make a living if we don’t destroy nature,” he said The meter.

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“We need to change our thinking and understand that we have the best chance we have ever had to secure a lasting future, not only for kelp forests, lobsters, sea lions, sharks and other species, but also to make our future more lasting “A healthy nature means health for people. When we destroy nature, that’s where we find conflict and human suffering,” she added.

After the decision of the Committee of Ministers to reject Dominga’s mining project, the researcher indicated that it was a wise decision to protect marine ecosystems which are very easy to destroy.

“I say ‘bravo, bravo’ for the wisdom of protecting this treasure which is very easy to destroy and which, when it is gone, leaves us forever; as well as protecting the future,” he said T13.

“It’s really satisfying that this decision comes while the Future Congress is on, because it’s really about the future, both in science and in ecology and economics. It is a great victory for the Chilean people and for the oceans,” she stressed.

COP15 and the 30×30 lens

At the end of December, the Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15) was held in Montreal, Canada, where 196 states aligned themselves around a goal that will help protect nature from the serious crisis of loss of species and ecosystems that the planet is addressing and have reached the historic agreement to protect 30% of the planet – land and oceans – by 2030.

The researcher explained that it is a good start to protect and conserve biodiversity, but it is not enough.

“It’s a start, but we need to move even faster. And it’s encouraging to see Chile go over 30%, but it needs to be very or fully protected. So now some of the areas that describe themselves as protected still have a long way to go.” travel before they are fully protected,” she said.

Earle pointed out that Chile has a high percentage of Protected Areas: the country has about 22% of the land area protected and 42% of the Exclusive Economic Zone under some form of protection. However, she argued that the development of salmon farming in protected areas of Chilean Patagonia is a sign of “disconnection”.

“That’s a disconnect. You could call it a Protected Area, but it’s not protected as long as destructive activities continue. Fish perform functions other than just existing to put them on a plate. Birds are the same, they’re valuable for reasons beyond of their good taste and some of them have a lot of protection. They need places to live, their habitat must be safe. But the first thing is to stop killing them,” he said.

Furthermore, he stressed that urgent measures need to be taken to reduce the destruction of biodiversity in the oceans.

“We are terrestrial by nature, we live on land. But, in the last few decades, people have seriously started to explore the ocean. We are stripping the ocean of life, we are breaking down the ocean and this is a bigger problem because people they don’t know what’s going on and care more about what they put on their plate than the impact on the systems that keep us all alive,” he said.

“The biggest wildlife trade on the planet is called fishing. I’m not saying we should stop eating fish, although that might be a good thing, but it’s like stopping eating songbirds. It’s probably a good thing. Some people will continue to eat them.” no matter what. It is the natural world that distinguishes the Earth from Mars or the Moon or anywhere else in the universe. This is home. And we must commit ourselves, all of us, to doing everything possible to take care of what makes us livable”.

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