At the heart of our blue planet, the oceans are full of extraordinary biodiversity and play a vital role in our existence. However, these marine treasures which cover 70% of the globe face a growing threat: ocean pollution. Let’s dive together into the depths of this emergency.
Ocean pollution in a few figures
The oceans are today threatened by an avalanche of pollution. Tons of plastics are drifting on the water's surface, choking marine wildlife and altering the natural beauty of shorelines. Toxic waste from industrial activities spills with impunity, contaminating waters and endangering the health of marine ecosystems. The figures are edifying. According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion)
around 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets are lost or abandoned at sea each year*
80% of marine waste comes from land-based activities*
between 75 to 199 million tonnes : this is the quantity of plastic in the oceans on a global scale, this represents 85% of marine waste.*
24,400 billion micro-plastic particles would float on the surface of our oceans *
And, according to the UN, between 9 and 12 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans each year.
The projections are also alarming. They announce that global plastic production could double by 2040. A worrying consequence follows: the quantity of plastic debris in the oceans could quadruple by 2050! This bleak outlook demands immediate action to preserve our seas and combat growing ocean pollution.
The devastating impact on marine life
The consequences of this pollution are heartbreaking. Images of dolphins trapped in abandoned fishing nets, turtles suffocated by plastic bags or seabirds covered in fuel oil are all proof of the devastating impact of our actions on marine life.
The oceans, which once teemed with life and diversity, are now in mortal danger. Millions of species, from the smallest to the largest, are suffering the tragic consequences of our irresponsibility. Corals, the colorful jewels of the reefs, are gradually bleaching and dying, depriving thousands of fish of their natural shelters.
Worse still, the acidification of the oceans due to the absorption of CO2 emitted by our industrial activities endangers the health of corals, true jewels of the seabed. These precious ecosystems are home to incredible biodiversity, but their disappearance threatens the balance of the entire marine food chain.
Reforestation to save our oceans
You may be wondering, “How can reforestation save our oceans?” ". Although it may seem surprising, trees and oceans are closely linked by a delicate balance within our planet.
At LIFE, through our “Sapousse” reforestation project, we not only plant trees, we plant seeds of hope. Each tree is a sentinel against deforestation. This scourge is eroding our forests and threatening the balance of nature. By understanding this interconnection, we can act more holistically and coherently to safeguard our entire environment. Here's how reforestation can help save our oceans:
Trees are carbon sinks
Trees are true champions of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. By absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis, trees store this carbon in their biomass and in the soil. By massively reforesting deforested or degraded areas, we increase the Earth's capacity to sequester CO2, thereby helping to slow climate change and protect the oceans from its devastating effects, such as acidification and rising sea levels. the sea.
At the heart of our fight for a sustainable future, forests are proving to be true protectors of watersheds, these crucial areas which collect rainwater and direct it to rivers and oceans. By protecting and restoring forests along waterways, we limit surface water runoff, reducing the risk of erosion and ocean pollution from sediment and waste.
Conservation of biodiversity
Forests are home to an incredible diversity of plant and animal species. By reforesting degraded areas, we create habitats favorable to wildlife, helping to preserve terrestrial and marine biodiversity. Rich and balanced biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems often translates into greater resilience of marine ecosystems to environmental disturbances.
Regulation of the water cycle
Trees hold a fascinating power: the regulation of the water cycle. They play a crucial role in transpiring moisture into the air through their leaves. This process, called evapotranspiration, gives rise to clouds, which in return pour rain, feeding our rivers and streams which end up in our oceans. By regulating the water cycle, forests help maintain a hydrological balance in coastal marine ecosystems, such as mangroves and wetlands.
As guardians of our planet, it is our duty to act for a healthy and balanced marine future. By preserving our oceans, we protect our future and that of future generations. Every gesture counts, whether by reducing our consumption of single-use plastics, adopting more environmentally friendly modes of transport, or supporting sustainable initiatives to preserve the oceans.
Together, we can reverse the trend in ocean pollution! We can create a future where blue waters shine again and underwater life thrives.