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UNDP Report Highlights Risks from Climate Change on LMEs

UNDP19 June 2012: On occasion of Oceans Day at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) released a publication on the risks posed by climate change on Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs).

The publication, titled “Frontline Observations on Climate Change and Sustainability of Large Marine Ecosystems,” shows that warming ocean waters as a result of climate change are threatening LMEs and thus the livelihoods of billions of people, who are dependent on them. According to Yannick Glemarec, Executive Coordinator of UNDP-Global Environment Facility (GEF), the findings underscore the need to invest in a green economy.

The publication highlights that in West Africa, large populations of sardines are moving away from traditional fishing grounds, and that, in Asia, the increased intensity of monsoon rains in the Bay of Bengal, is lowering the salinity of surface waters, which is in turn lowering natural productivity and fish populations.

Other risks from climate change  include sea level rise, coastal erosion, and the acidification of LME waters around the world. To address these threats, the GEF, its agencies and the World Bank have mobilized over US$4 billion to recover and sustain the goods and services of LMEs in over 100 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. [Publication: Frontline Observations on Climate Change and Sustainability of Large Marine Ecosystems] [UNDP Press Release]