Researchers regenerate underwater biodiversity destroyed by human activity

In this special edition of Futuris, we report on one of the missions that the European Union is
launching to find solutions to the main challenges of our time.

Five missions shape this initiative, part of the incoming Horizon Europe initiative which will begin in
2021: Carbon-neutral and Smart Cities, Soil Health and Food, Adaptation to climate change, the Fight
against Cancer and the Protection of our Oceans and Inland waters.

Our seas, oceans, coastal zones, glaciers and inland waters produce around half of the oxygen we
breathe and provide 16% of the animal proteins we consume. But these rich and fragile ecosystems
are under threat from climate change, pollution, over-fishing and tourism.

How do we protect these environments and preserve their socio-economic value?
Pascal Lamy is the Chair of the mission board, Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, andhe says that we are dealing with a complex environmental system. He outlined for Futuris ( some of the areas that need to be focused on:

“We need to seriously increase the marine areas we protect.
“Some of these zones are in the European Union, but we need to go beyond that.

“Our goal is to protect 30% of our total aquatic surface by 2030.

“We also need to systematically equip our 􀃕shing boats with geolocation tools to be able to trackthem and stop over-􀃕shing.”
“We must develop clean engines for all kinds of of motorised vehicles on the seas and oceans,especially for coastal areas where ferries and costal ships tend to be. “

Progress is already being made by European scientists working to recover the rich underwaterecosystems of coastal zones devastated by decades of industrial waste. For many years in the 20thcentury, a steel factory in Bagnoli, a coastal neighbourhood of Naples in Italy, covered two millionsquare meters.

Watch Pascal Lamy’s interview on Euronews website