OTTAWA – UN World Ocean Day this year focuses the world’s attention on two daunting challenges: gender equality and plastic pollution.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) says there is a real connection between the two issues. “The wellbeing, education and respect for girls and women is intricately linked to the health of the environment,” said Ms. May.
“Women understand the importance of protecting sustainable food sources, especially in developing countries where they are often front-line workers in farming and aquaculture. Unfortunately, women in those regions are also more likely to suffer the impacts of climate change and other environmental hazards. Greens will continue to support the empowerment of women and girls in all ocean-related sectors.
The UN indicates that continued wage inequality and limited access to decision making positions persists for women in the aquaculture and marine-related workforce.
GPC Deputy Leader, Jo-Ann Roberts, says “Millions of tonnes of plastic continue to leak into the ocean killing and injuring marine animals and seriously damaging sensitive ecosystems. We now know from a new University of Victoria study that it is affecting our health as well. Clearly we need to take urgent action to protect the oceans from plastic pollution.”
"There are multiple threats to our oceans - overfishing, toxic contamination, ocean plastics, and the impacts of global warming. One impact of our addiction to fossil fuels is the chemical transfer of atmospheric carbon to the oceans, leading to acidification. This threatens all life in our oceans," concluded Ms. May.
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