A survey on the relationship of Brazilians with the sea revealed that about 10% of the population has never been to the beach. Among those who frequent beaches, half only visit them once a year or less. In addition, 40% of respondents said they believe their day-to-day actions have no impact on ocean conservation. The research, carried out by Fundação Boticário in partnership with Unesco and Unifesp, was released this Thursday (30) at a side event of the UN Ocean Conference, in Lisbon.
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The study, which included 2,000 interviews in all regions of Brazil, also assessed the knowledge of Brazilians about other coastal or marine environments, in addition to beaches.
You Coral reefsfor example, which are threatened by the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures and acidification, are one of the ecosystems that the population has heard most about, but has visited the least personally. Although 80% of respondents know about coral reefs, 75% have never actually visited this environment..
According to Brazilian researchers, the population’s lack of knowledge about the sea is a barrier for concrete ocean conservation actions to have greater impact and reach.
“The ocean starts in our house, even if we are many kilometers away from the sea. As most people have little direct contact with marine environments, this perception needs to be stimulated”, explained Ronaldo Christofoletti, professor at the Instituto do Mar at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp).
United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference is held in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2022 — Photo: Patrícia Figueiredo/g1
In an interview with g1the coordinator of the UNESCO Chair for Ocean Sustainability, Alexandre Turra, also highlighted the so-called promotion of oceanic culture.
“The promotion of oceanic culture is to make the ocean reach people’s heads, hearts and souls. We have a huge challenge, which is to bring the importance of the sea to these people [que nunca foram à praia] as well,” said Turra, from the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP).
Despite the emphasis on the creation of this culture of preservation during the UN Ocean Conference, the survey released this Thursday (30) showed that the Brazilian population is poorly informed about the actions promoted by the international community for the conservation of the sea.
93% of respondents have never heard of the Ocean Decade, a milestone created by the UN to designate the global movement of engagement on the topic between 2021 and 2030.
Responsible for covering more than 70% of the planet’s area, the ocean is essential for the maintenance of life on Earth, but its health is in danger – this alert is the main focus of the UN Ocean Conference, which takes place in Portugal until this date. Friday (1st).
The event brings together delegations from different countries to promote the development of concrete actions, both by countries and private institutions, so that the goals of the 2030 Agenda, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are achieved. In the case of the ocean, this is SDG 14, Life at Sea, which includes commitments such as significantly reducing marine pollution by 2025.
Garbage floats on a beach on Ilha do Governador, in Guanabara Bay — Photo: Marcos Serra Lima/g1
In addition to providing food and work, the ocean also plays a key role in regulating the planet’s climate: it is he who ensures that the Earth’s temperature stays at levels suitable for survival of different species, including man.
But, due to human action, the seas have suffered several challenges, which include the increase in pollution, caused mainly by plastics, and also by the increase in the acidity of the water, caused by the increase in carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
This report was produced as part of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference Fellowship, organized by the Earth Journalism Network of Internews with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (United Kingdom).