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Inuit communities forge a path to sustainable wealth – National Observer

June 8th 2023

A healthy ocean is inextricably linked to humanity’s continued prosperity. Despite our interdependence on this shared resource, we continue to damage precious marine ecosystems across the globe. With the world’s longest shoreline, Canada is in a unique position to model strategies for ocean protection that also stimulate economic growth.

For World Ocean Day, it’s important to celebrate and showcase world-leading conservation projects, like those happening in Canada, so we can strategically approach global ocean protection. The territory of Nunavut and many Inuit communities are taking a leadership role by investing in the protection of critical ocean areas in the Arctic.

Ocean conservation

When Canadians think of nature conservation, we often think of terrestrial areas, like carbon-rich wetlands and old-growth forests. But the ocean also stores a significant amount of carbon and is rich in biodiversity. The ocean is also a socio-economic powerhouse. Coastal areas generate 61 per cent of global GDP and the livelihoods of more than three billion people directly depend on the ocean. Despite this, less than eight per cent of the world’s ocean is protected and human actions continue to threaten marine ecosystems. It’s clear that we need to find novel ways to increase ocean protection while supporting coastal livelihoods.

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