"Urgent action on a global scale" is needed to protect our oceans

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Plastic bottles and garbage waste from a village in Timor-Leste wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea. UN Photo/Martine Perret

"Urgent action on a global scale" is needed to protect the world's oceans and ease the pressures they face from climate change.

That's the message from UN chief Ban Ki-moon to mark World Oceans Day, on Wednesday.

The Secretary-General warned that "future dangers" could damage their ecosystems beyond repair.

Matthew Wells reports.

Mr Ban said that the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment of last December, showed for the first time how fragile the world's oceans really are.

"We now know" he said, that their capacity to withstand human impact is not endless, especially when it comes to dealing with the effects of man-made climate change.

"Healthy oceans are critical to sustaining life on earth" he added, and only global action could halt damage to marine environments that might be irreparable.

The UN chief said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement could play a crucial role in saving the oceans.

He added that World Oceans Day gave everyone the chance to commit to protecting oceans, and using "their gifts peacefully, equitably, and sustainably for generations to come."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 44”

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