Light­house Found­a­tion - Found­a­tion for the seas and oceans

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Presentation

Earth's oceans are what give our planet its iden­tity - the blue planet, the wa­tery globe. They are the cradle of life, the re­gion with the highest level of biod­iversity we know, an ir­re­place­able source of food, a source and a stor­age cham­ber in world-scale chem­ical and en­ergy cycles, the en­gine of earth's cli­mate.

The Light­house Found­a­tion sup­ports in­teg­rated and long-term ap­proaches in the re­la­tion­ship between hu­mans and the mar­ine en­vir­on­ment within the con­text of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

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The oceans - basis of the global system

Earth's oceans are what give our planet its iden­tity - the blue planet, the wa­tery globe. They are the cradle of life, the re­gion with the highest level of biod­iversity we know, an ir­re­place­able source of food, a source and a stor­age cham­ber in world-scale chem­ical and en­ergy cycles, the en­gine of earth's cli­mate. The oceans de­term­ine the nature and qual­ity of the bio­sphere far bey­ond their coast­lines. They are the sus­tain­ing, all-en­com­passing ele­ment in the global bio­sphere.

Human awareness of the oceans

The true global and local sig­ni­fic­ance of the seas and oceans of our world is by no means re­flec­ted in our ac­tual level of aware­ness of them. After many thou­sands of years of coastal and mari­time hu­man activ­ity we are only just be­gin­ning to un­der­stand the depths and secrets of our wa­tery planet. And the fur­ther we pro­gress, the more clearly we are com­ing to re­cog­nize the ex­tent of hu­man in­flu­ence on nat­ural pro­cesses in the seas and oceans¾we are be­gin­ning to see what we have changed.

Focus on the coastal regions

Hu­man activ­ity is con­cen­trat­ing in­creas­ingly in the coastal re­gions, which already har­bour 60% of world's pop­u­la­tion. Oceanic shelves and the coast­line it­self are highly at­tract­ive areas for mar­ine, am­phi­bian and ter­restrial life forms and are the ven­ues for in­tens­ive ex­change pro­cesses with the oceans. The trans­ition area between sea and land will there­fore in­creas­ingly be a fo­cus of fu­ture eco­nomic, so­cial and eco­lo­gical con­flicts. Coastal re­gions are there­fore pre­destined loc­a­tions for the de­vel­op­ment and im­ple­ment­a­tion of en­vir­on­ment­ally com­pat­ible con­cepts of a long-term nature.

Need for clear-cut, decisive approaches

The need for ac­tion ori­ented at its very in­cep­tion to­wards the longer term and a hol­istic pic­ture of the earth and the con­sequences of our pres­ence on it has now gained gen­eral world-wide re­cog­ni­tion. The peoples of the world ad­op­ted the goal of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment at the Rio Con­fer­ence of 1992.Since then, dis­cus­sion on im­ple­ment­a­tion of these goals has gone on at vari­ous levels. Every­body real­izes that hol­istic ap­proaches are needed and should be im­ple­men­ted, but the activ­it­ies that ac­tu­ally see the light of day so of­ten fol­low a cleanup or fol­low-up scheme that is hardly suit­able for real­iz­ing con­crete ob­ject­ives. There is still a need for qual­ity in­ter­dis­cip­lin­ary ap­proaches. The pub­lic and its de­cision-makers and opin­ion lead­ers must also open their eyes to ex­em­plary pos­it­ive de­vel­op­ments.

These are the de­clared tasks of the Light­house Found­a­tion