World Oceans Day 2022 calls for individuals, civil society, governments, institutions and the international community to collectively work to revitalise our oceans, which are home to most of the world’s biodiversity and are predicted to be a source of employment for 40 million people by 2030.
In recognition that our oceans serve not only the above purposes but also play a key role in reducing the frequency and intensity of climate-related risks, Start Network continues to work with communities closest to crises worldwide, to anticipate predictable risks and innovate to address climate issues.
In the Philippines for example, we worked with a local social enterprise to repurpose plastic waste into bottlenet life jackets, which would be made available to communities at low cost in a country that faces increasingly frequent climate disasters, having faced over 500 since 1990.
Findings from the most recent IPCC Report indicate that greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, which will require more ambitious plans to limit global warming levels to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. From the current economic trajectory of most fossil fuel and plastic producing industries, however, it is realistic to predict that climate risks will become more frequent over the coming years.
In the first quarter of 2022 alone, Start Network’s flagship financing mechanism, the Start Fund, reports 28 crisis alerts raised by our member organisations; a clear indicator that urgent action is needed to rehabilitate the planet and protect communities at risk of or affected by crises.
How can we protect communities from climate risks?
Start Network prioritises the need for locally led disaster anticipation, response and mitigation. Through listening to the needs and experiences of local organisations and communities, we continue to distribute power to local organisations so they can implement meaningful and context-responsive initiatives that save more lives.
Through the Start Fund and Start Ready, we also work to provide fast, innovative financing to accelerate anticipatory action towards predictable crises and support response to emerging emergencies. However, this is a small fraction of the assistance needed in a world with an ever-increasing population and growing need.
It is therefore important for each of us to call on our world leaders to take significant steps to avert the warming global climate. By enacting policies that for instance, curb carbon emissions, we can revitalise our oceans, stabilise adverse climatic conditions and make the planet more habitable for us all.