A world without the ocean is inconceivable. The ocean is the lung of the planet. The ocean generates oxygen to breathe and acts as climate regulator on the planet as it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and heat. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Last but not least marine fisheries provide the primary source of protein to over 50% of the population in least developed countries. Clearly, the future of humanity is directly linked to the fate of the ocean.
But our world’s ocean is more at risk than ever. Overfishing, habitat loss, climate change and pollution are only some of the threats affecting more than two billion people in coastal regions. It is our common responsibility to take fast and decisive action to address these challenges. Available, accessible, up-to-date science-based information and research agendas that meet the needs of decision-makers are needed for the health of our ocean and the well-being of coastal communities. Science4Ocean showcases African-German partnerships of the MeerWissen initiative, taking on some of the huge challenges we face in the UN Ocean Decade.
MeerWissen Community celebrated World Oceans Day 2022 with a field trip to Paje in Zanzibar.
© DG Roberts
Policymakers from the Western Indian Ocean region, including the Zanzibar Minister of Blue Economy and Fisheries, Suleiman Masoud Makame, took part at the MeerWissen network event alongside scientists. Involving stakeholders like politicians is crucial for a successful science-policy uptake.
Exchange and cooperation among scientists from different disciplines, is a goal of the MeerWissen initiative. That is why Co-design is at the core of the initiative.
Scientists from the MeerWissen projects picking up litter at the beach on the island of Zanzibar.