Oceans are nature’s greatest resource, providing services estimated at $21 trillion dollars a year. They are the primary source of protein for 1 billion people and of livelihoods for 350 million more. Oceans also hold 97 percent of the planet’s water, contributing to moderate climate, ecosystems and oxygen supply. However, human activities bring different threats to the world’s oceans, having a key impact on the benefits people receive from them and on their natural stability.
In order to evaluate this connection, Conservation International and other partners launched on August 15 the new Ocean Health Index, an indicator to assess the critical relationship between human populations and the oceans that sustain them. This index will provide a comprehensive measurement of the situation of oceans and the implications of human activity on them. In includes an evaluation of the biological, physical, social and economic conditions of the coastal waters of the 171 countries with ocean shorelines.
The Ocean Health Index considers ten public goals for a healthy oceans from both people and nature perspectives. These goals offer realistic and sustainable targets that allow for the evaluation of the current conditions of the oceans and the future impact of human activities on them. The results are designed to inform and encourage decisions that create a healthier ocean and a more sustainable human-ocean relationship, by generating an accurate snapshot of the health of the oceans. Government and Business leaders will have access to a quantitative framework to support policies at the ecological, social, economic and political levels.
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