The International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance) brings together governments and organizations across the globe dedicated to taking action to protect coastal communities and livelihoods from the threat of ocean acidification.
Working towards the United Nations’ Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), Peace Boat furthers its commitment to advance knowledge of changing ocean conditions by joining the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance) as an affiliate member and partner organization.
Peace Boat recognizes the urgency of action to mitigate causes, including reducing carbon emissions, and address ocean acidification globally and regionally. Alongside the OA Alliance, Peace Boat will be a part of an international network of governments and organizations working towards sustainable oceans and more resilient coastal communities.
The ocean has already absorbed 30% of carbon dioxide generated by human activities since the Industrial Revolution. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) combines with seawater to produce carbonic acid, acidifying the seawater and depleting it of carbonate that many forms of sea life need to build their shells. Increasing CO2 levels is altering the chemical balance of seawater that marine life depends upon for survival.
Since its launch in 2016, the OA Alliance has grown to more than 100 members, including 13 national governments, 9 states, 2 provinces, 6 tribal and sovereign nations, and 4 cities, along with local research institutions, monitoring networks, businesses, affected industry partners and NGOs.
As the science, research and observed impacts of ocean acidification continue to grow, there is need for increased knowledge exchange and expertise on the substance and process for developing local, regional and national responses in the face of cumulative ocean change.
Peace Boat will collaborate with the OA Alliance through educational programs onboard the ship on issues including climate change, marine degradation, ocean acidification and conservation efforts. Educational programs offered onboard will utilize Peace Boat’s ship as a dynamic learning space and mobile classroom. These projects will be carried out in collaboration with other partner youth organizations and ocean research institutions, such as the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), Mission Blue and the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center.
Peace Boat’s advocacy, awareness, and capacity training initiatives include the Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Program, launched at the UN Ocean Conference and endorsed by the COP23 Presidency. For the past three years, the program has brought young leaders from Small Island States who are dedicated to ocean and climate issues onboard Peace Boat for capacity development and sharing their own personal experiences and calls for action in ports of call.
Peace Boat believes that adaptation strategies and science-informed policy responses to global change are urgently needed by youth, civil society and government partners around the world. As noted by the United Nations, the scientific understanding of the ocean’s responses to pressures and management action is fundamental for sustainable development. Ocean observations and research are also essential to predict the consequences of change, design mitigation and guide adaptation.
Achieving the SDGs, and in particular SDG 14 for Life Below Water, requires mobilization of young people through entrepreneurship, volunteering, scientific marine research, education and other endeavors. Towards this aim, Peace Boat will offer scholarships for regular educational programs focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and marine science, including ocean acidification and climate mitigation. This will bring about benefits for not only the youth involved but also for our earth.