26 Jul 2019

Indigenous knowledge to inform science to save oceans

2:18 pm on 26 July 2019

The head of the United Nations body responsible for ocean conservation says indigenous Pacific knowledge can help define the science needed to save the ocean.

Aerial landscape view of the beautiful Muri Lagoon and a Motu (Islet) in Rarotonga Island in the Cook Islands.

Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/ 123RF

Vladimir Ryabinin, from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, was speaking at the conclusion of the first of nine global meetings on the UN's so-called 'Decade of the Ocean'.

The Noumea workshop follows a recent UN assessment concluding that the ocean is failing, with an increase in temperature and acidity negatively impacting fish stocks and biodiversity.

It said the world has until 2030 to prevent collapse.

Mr Ryabinin said it is important the Pacific's traditional knowledge helps establish conservation science.

"Traditional Knowledge for us would be the way to gauge the usefulness of scientific solutions and then also transform the solutions into something that is useful, really useful."

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