April 16, 2013

Today we bring you a new video, called “The True Value of Our Oceans” as part of the “Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey” ocean video series. The video is a collaboration between The United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) and Mission Blue Executive Director, Jim Toomey, who is also one of North America’s premier syndicated cartoonists and whose comic strip Sherman’s Lagoon entertains and educates readers  about ocean issues every week.

The video, “Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey” is part of a series that was launched in June of 2012.  Using animation and humor, the videos provide, in clear and simple language, information about cutting-edge science and policies governing our ocean, the importance of the ocean to human well-being and the challenges facing our environment. While the videos are aimed at the general public in North America, the makers believe that they will have broad appeal to viewers around the globe.

The video, “The True Value of Our Oceans,” was premiered on April 11, 2013 at the World Bank partnership meeting on “Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystems Services.”  Or WAVES. WAVES is a global partnership that aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that the national accounts used to measure and plan for economic growth include the value of natural resources.  While highlighting the economic value of the oceans, this video focuses on the range of ocean benefits that are not typically accounted for.

What sort of benefits you ask? Coastal habitats, like barrier reefs and mangroves, protect us from storms and flooding, for example. Salt marshes and mangroves also filter pollutants, as well as excess nutrients and sediments from the water.  The ocean helps to regulate climate and absorbs carbon dioxide. Referred to as natural capital, these benefits are seldom considered in traditional economic accounting and consequently get left out of important decision-making processes. That needs to change!

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