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Rome Reports

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UN, Vatican and FAO world leaders discuss in Rome the importance of ocean conservation

More than 3.5 billion people depend on the ocean for maintaining their current state of life, whether for their livelihood or food source and in 20 years, that number is likely to double. Just weeks after the UN "The Ocean Conferenceâ? was held in New York, global leaders and organizations like the UN and FAO gathered at this conference with one united mission: to protect every aspect of the oceans, from pollution and loss of marine biodiversity to illegal fishing and rising sea levels.  ROEL VAN DER VEEN Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs "People say that the oceans are at the same stage now that climate was 25 years ago and I predict that 20 years from now, oceans, the health of oceans, the state of the oceans will become high politics.â? MANUEL BARANGE Director, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division "It can't be just about stopping doing this, don't go there, but rather, what else can they do? What else can you provide for them to do? Otherwise you're just criminalizing an activity, you're turning it into an illegality. That doesn't solve the problem. It makes it even bigger.â? H.E. PETER THOMSON President, UN General Assembly  "It's true to say that the work on oceans has got a new focus at the United Nations. We now realize that remedial work is required and that is happening now on many fronts. The goal to basically conserve and sustainably manage the resources of the ocean. So there are targets in there related to marine pollution, related to sustainably managing fish stocks, addressing ocean acidification, increasing the scientific knowledge, addressing the greater coastal ecosystems.â? Along with these goals is the joint union and mission of the Holy See, which in Laudato si' supports protecting and preserving the environment. Card. Peter Turkson, from the Department for Promoting Integral Human Development says the Vatican is especially concerned with the environment because "everything that affects the human person, affects the Church.â? CARD. PETER TURKSON Prefect, Promoting Integral Human Development "All of these involvements in ecology, in biodiversity, stuff about the oceans and all of that, may appear by some as the Vatican going off course - from simply preaching the Gospel to getting involved in things that some consider to be purely scientific and economic - but it's not really the case. Redemption is not only for the human person, but also for the Earth, for creation, for the world and everything that affects human life.â?  For this reason, leaders and scientists gathered at this conference to confront the environmental crisis facing oceans and how each country can help people protect and conserve them, undoubtedly leading to a cleaner and more profitable future for all. MB AA -SV -Pr Up: