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World Ocean Assessment I: The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment

  • A prestigious and comprehensive report from the United Nations, with contributions from hundreds of the world's experts on the oceans
  • Provides the first integrated assessment of the state of the world's ocean, enabling policy makers and all stakeholders to consider for the first time the global and integrated effect on the ocean of decisions that they make
  • Identifies gaps in knowledge of the ocean and related human activities, helping policymakers and all stakeholders to identify and prioritize areas for action, and input to the Sustainable Development Goals

By: United Nations (Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs)(Author), Ban Ki-moon(Foreword By), Lorna Inis(Preface By), Alan Simcock(Preface By)

973 pages, colour & b/w illustrations, colour & b/w tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jun 2017 | #234836 | ISBN-13: 9781316510018
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £120.00 $153/€134 approx

About this book

The World Ocean Assessment – or, to give its full title, The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment – is the outcome of the first cycle of the United Nations' Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects. The Assessment provides vital, scientifically-grounded bases for the consideration of ocean issues, including climate change, by governments, intergovernmental agencies, non-governmental agencies and all other stakeholders and policymakers involved in ocean affairs. Together with future assessments and related initiatives, it will support the implementation of the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly its ocean-related goals. Moreover, it will also form an important reference text for marine science courses.

Please note that the publisher has cancelled plans for a paperback version.

"Hundreds of scientists from many countries [...] indicate that the oceans' carrying capacity is near or at its limit. It is clear that urgent action on a global scale is needed to protect the world's oceans."
– Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, from the Foreword

"Our oceans are an essential component to supporting life on Earth, yet their health is being hit from all sides. The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment helps us grasp the current situation and compels us to do our part in protecting this vital resource. Urgent action is needed, and this Assessment provides policy-makers with an important scientific baseline upon which to act. The report is also a great resource for students, scientists, the general public and anyone with an interest in learning more about the oceans, and what we can do – and need to do – to protect them."
– Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

"Throughout The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment experts state that ocean ecosystems are unable to cope with the impact of multiple anthropogenic stressors. As a consequence, the life-supporting services that the ocean provides to humankind are in imminent danger. Due to the complexity of ocean processes, solutions should be sought and verified based on the most advanced ocean science and observations. Making them applicable globally and for all requires intensive capacity development and marine technology transfer."
– Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO

"The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment has arrived at a critical time. Never before has it been possible to acquire the depth and breadth of information gathered in this masterful compilation. Never again will there be a better time to apply the knowledge presented here to develop policies that will enable humankind to make peace with the natural ocean systems that underpin everything we care about, including our own existence."
– Sylvia Earle, Explorer in Residence at National Geographic, Founder of Mission Blue, and Founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER)



Part I. Summary of the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment

Part II. The Context of the Assessment:
1. Introduction: planet, oceans and life
2. Mandate, information sources and method of work

Part III. Assessment of Major Ecosystem Services from the Marine Environment:
3. Scientific understanding of ecosystem services
4. The ocean's role in the hydrological cycle
5. Sea-air interactions
6. Primary production, cycling of nutrients, surface layer and plankton
7. Calcium carbonate production and contribution to coastal sediments
8. Aesthetic, cultural, religious and spiritual ecosystem services derived from the marine environment
9. Conclusions on major ecosystem services other than provisioning services

Part IV. Assessment of the Cross-Cutting Issues: Food Security and Food Safety:
10. The oceans as a source of food
11. Capture fisheries
12. Aquaculture
13. Fish stock propagation
14. Seaweeds
15. Social and economic aspects of sea-based food and fisheries
16. Synthesis of Part IV: food security and safety

Part V. Assessment of Other Human Activities and the Marine Environment:
17. Shipping
18. Ports
19. Submarine cables and pipelines
20. Coastal, riverine and atmospheric inputs from land
21. Offshore hydrocarbon industries
22. Other marine-based energy industries
23. Offshore mining industries
24. Solid waste disposal
25. Marine debris
26. Land-sea physical interaction
27. Tourism and recreation
28. Desalinization
29. Use of marine genetic resources
30. Marine scientific research
31. Conclusions on other human activities
32. Capacity-building in relation to human activities affecting the marine environment

Part VI. Assessment of Marine Biological Diversity and Habitats:
33. Introduction

Section A. Overview of Marine Biological Diversity:
34. Global patterns in marine biodiversity
35. Extent of assessment of marine biological diversity
36. Overview of marine biological diversity

Section B. Marine Ecosystems, Species and Habitats Scientifically Identified as Threatened, Declining or Otherwise in Need of Special Attention or Protection
I. Marine Species:
37. Marine mammals
38. Seabirds
39. Marine reptiles
40. Sharks and other elasmobranchs
41. Tunas and bill fishes
II. Marine Ecosystems and Habitats:
42. Cold-water corals
43. Tropical and sub-tropical coral reefs
44. Estuaries and deltas
45. Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps
46. High-latitude ice and the biodiversity dependent on it
47. Kelp forests and seagrass meadows
48. Mangroves
49. Salt marshes
50. Sargasso sea
51. Biological communities on seamounts and other submarine features potentially threatened by disturbance

Section C. Environmental, Economic and/or Social Aspects of the Conservation of Marine Species and Habitats and Capacity-Building Needs:
52. Synthesis of Part VI: marine biological diversity and habitats
53. Capacity-building needs in relation to the status of species and habitats

Part VII. Overall Assessment:
54. Overall assessment of human impact on the oceans
55. Overall value of the oceans to humans

Annex I. List of contributors and commentators
Annex II. Glossary
Annex III. Acronyms

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