Oceans play a pivotal role in mitigating the effects of climate change. On the one hand, they represent an essential carbon sink on Earth, given their capacity to absorb and store 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere. On the other hand, oceans produce half of the world’s oxygen, which is transported and distributed as well as heat from the equator to the poles.
Sustainable management, conservation, and restoration marine ecosystems is vital to support the oceans’ functions of carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services on which people depend. This includes food security, water efficiency, and coastal management.
[Water]: These functions, together with the plurality of ecosystem services they offer, make oceans vital for the water cycle and eventually for life on Earth. It is the strict connection existing between saltwater and freshwater that the poor state characterizing to date the oceans inevitably affect the quality and access to drinking water.
[Mediterranean Foodscape]: Aquatic foods, from both cultured and captured sources, make a significant contribution to improve and diversify dietary intakes and promote nutritional well-being among most population groups. Fish play an essential role in the Mediterranean diet. According to researchers, a Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression, given the intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6. This explains why fish proteins are an essential food to be included in the diet, especially in densely populated areas where the total protein intake is low.
[Humana Communitas]: Teams of scientists, students, and local fishermen have been cultivating different types of corals at various locations in the sea. Optimizing the coral breeding process improves the coral reef productivity.
Participants will review the major examples of conservation and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems. They will be able to compare Marine Protected Areas and other area-based conservation measures to protect biologically significant marine habitats. But they will also debate on sustainable tourism as a means to promote economically viable options that respect and protect both the marine ecosystem and the traditional culture of local populations.