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海洋不仅需要拯救,还需要投资

经济繁荣离不开健康的海洋。海洋对于我们的日常生活有着巨大的价值,抛开有关商业与大自然的古老争论,我们知道,经济的增长有赖于健康的海洋。

经济繁荣离不开健康的海洋。海洋对于我们的日常生活有着巨大的价值,维系着数百亿美元的渔业产业和千百万个工业岗位;海洋里的礁盘和红树林保护着各种生物群落免受暴风雨的冲击;海洋还吸引并存储有害的碳排放。抛开有关商业与大自然的古老争论,我们知道,经济的增长有赖于健康的海洋。

好消息是,我们看到近些年来,全球加大了保护这些生命能量来源的力度。全球大约有4%的海洋面积处于正式的保护区内。然而,为了确保海洋能持续造福人类,仅仅设立保护区还是不够的。我们对海洋必须要有长远的投资。

在印度尼西亚的西巴布亚地区,当地和国际的环境保护者正联手建立地球最大的单一海洋生命保护区。这片蓝色的世外桃源名叫鸟首海区(Bird’s Head Seascape),里面生活着超过1,800种热带鱼和全球四分之三的硬珊瑚品种。这片海域供养着数百个海岛上的居民社区,一度面临被彻底破坏的风险。

这片地区的珊瑚礁曾经受到过度捕捞和炸药炸鱼等破坏性手段的侵害,一项有当地社区、印度尼西亚政府等数十家合作机构和组织参与的12年计划挽救了它。该合作计划培训了2,000名巴布亚人,从事管理工作及反盗猎活动,使外来盗猎者的非法捕捞行为减少了90%,当地渔业的生产效率显著增加。

但海洋保护区的建立不代表着一切已经结束,而是刚刚开始。

没有管理计划或预算的海洋保护区差不多是徒具形式。没有用于确保管理和监督的财力有可能让这些海域发挥不出滋养海洋生物的潜力,更别于扶持当地依赖海洋获取食物和收入的无数经济体了。

蓝色阿巴迪基金(Blue Abadi Fund)旨在通过向当地社区和机构提供捐款,以可持续的方式管理海洋资源,使鸟首海区得到永远的保护。本月,相关合作组织宣布,我们已经为基金募集到3,800万美元目标捐款当中的2,300万美元。当全额资金到位时,它将成为世界最大的海洋保护专项基金。

现在,鸟首海区将由当地社区常年管理。当地人的生活和生计离不开这片晶莹的海水,他们比其他任何人都了解它,有了足够的资金,就能够确保他们的成功。

对于这个独一无二的地方来说,这是一个充满希望的未来。但对所有海洋来说,给真正的可持续保护制定一条路线只是第一步。我们需要向那些身处海洋保护前沿的社区提供更多的支持。只有这样,我们才能看到投资改善海洋健康所带来的回报。

这是我们必须共同承担的冒险,因为健康的海洋让我们所有人从中获益。(财富中文网)

罗伯•沃尔顿是沃尔顿家族基金会(Walton Family Foundation)的环境委员会主席。彼得•塞利曼是保护国际基金会(Conservation International)的董事长兼首席执行官。

译者:Ty

Economies need healthy oceans in order to thrive. Oceans provide enormous value to our everyday lives. They support billion-dollar fisheries and millions of jobs. Their reefs and mangroves protect communities from storms. And the oceans absorb and store harmful carbon emissions. Far from the old debate of business versus nature, we know that a growing economy depends on healthy oceans.

The good news is that in recent years, we have seen a surge in global efforts to protect these engines of life. Some 4 percent of the world’s oceans are now within formally protected areas. However, to ensure that the oceans can continue to provide for us, it is not enough to create protected areas. We must invest in them for the long run.

In the West Papua region of Indonesia, a partnership of local and international conservationists has done just that for the single greatest reservoir of ocean life on the planet. Known as the Bird’s Head Seascape, this blue Shangri-La is home to more than 1,800 species of reef fish and three-quarters of the world’s hard coral species. The area supports hundreds of island communities, and it was once at risk of being lost forever.

Beset by overfishing and destructive practices — such as dynamite fishing — the region’s coral reefs were saved by a 12-year initiative involving scores of partner agencies and organizations, including the local community and government of Indonesia. The partnership trained 2,000 Papuans in stewardship and anti-poaching activities, resulting in a 90 percent drop in illegal fishing by outside poachers and a significant increase in the productivity of local fisheries.

But the creation of a marine protected area is never an end in itself. In fact, it is only the beginning.

A marine reserve without a management plan or a budget can amount to little more than a paper park. Lacking the finances to ensure proper management and monitoring can cause these areas to fall short of their potential for actually sustaining marine life, to say nothing of the countless local economies that depend on those waters for their food and income.

The Blue Abadi Fund aims to protect the Bird’s Head Seascape forever by providing grants to local communities and agencies to sustainably manage their marine resources. This month, the partner organizations are announcing that, we have raised US$ 23 million mark of our US$ 38 million goal for the fund. When fully capitalized, it will be the largest dedicated marine conservation fund in the world.

Now, the Bird’s Head Seascape is going to be stewarded in perpetuity by local communities — the very people whose lives and livelihoods depend on these crystalline waters, and who know them better than anyone else — with enough money to ensure their success.

It’s a promising future for this unique place. But it’s only the first step in setting a course for truly sustainable protection for all our oceans. We need more support for the communities on the front lines of ocean conservation. Only then will we see a return on our investment in the form of improved ocean health.

This is a venture we must undertake together. Because when the ocean is healthy, we all benefit.

Rob Walton chairs the environment committee of the Walton Family Foundation. Peter Seligmann is the chairman and CEO of Conservation International.

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