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YES! topic 2018
Solutions for sustaining the World’s Oceans
This challenge was introduced by Christine Bertram, researcher, IfW Kiel Institute for the World Economy
This challenge was selected by the teams Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium Hamburg and Alexander-von-Humboldt-Schule Neumünster
The ocean covers more than two-thirds of our planet’s surface. It is a vast ecosystem that regulates the global climate, provides humans with natural resources such as food, raw materials, and energy, and is essential for international trade as well as recreational and cultural activities. However, pressures resulting from overfishing, increasing resource extraction, various sources of pollution, and alterations to coastal zones and ecosystems constitute severe threats to ocean health and sustainability. In many cases, activities on land such as farming, construction, tourism, and waste discharge have negative impacts on coastal and marine environments with negative feedbacks on human well-being. Even though the knowledge and awareness of these threats and relationships are increasing, approaches to achieving a more sustainable utilisation of ocean resources and services are still rare. Sufficient governance mechanisms are often lacking or only partly or slowly implemented.
Significant questions that need to be addressed and could be part of your challenge are: How can we reduce the waste discharge into the ocean and/or how can we recover the waste that is already in the ocean? How can we develop sustainable and environmentally-friendly tourism concepts? How can economic growth strategies such as the EU’s Blue Growth initiative be designed and implemented sustainably? How can fish from aquaculture be farmed environmentally-friendly and sustainably?