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"'The oceans are our life support system': Kerstin Forsberg on why we should protect the seas and oceans

Listen to this article In CNN’s latest report from its Call to Earth initiative, the station teams up with marine biologist Kerstin Forsberg to address the issue of marine conservation. Kerstin Forsberg, a Peruvian environmental activist, has long been passionate about the topic of seas and oceans. In an interview with CNN She highlights why
Published: June 13, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 22:46
“‘The oceans are our life support system’: Kerstin Forsberg on why we should protect the seas and oceans
Listen to this article

In CNN’s latest report from its Call to Earth initiative, the station teams up with marine biologist Kerstin Forsberg to address the issue of marine conservation.

Kerstin Forsberg, a Peruvian environmental activist, has long been passionate about the topic of seas and oceans. In an interview with CNN She highlights why protecting the oceans is so important.

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Oceans are the main life support system on our planet. If we did not have them, none of us would be able to survive. They provide us with over 70% of the oxygen we breathe. They have a major impact on the climate. They provide the resources we need to survive, the means to live.

Planet Océano

After completing her undergraduate degree in biology, Forsberg started a small community project to protect endangered sea turtles in northern Peru. Two years later, in 2009, she founded Planet Océano – organisation to inspire local communities to care for the oceans. Her work has resulted in the Peruvian government placing giant mantas, known as sea devils, under species protection.

Forsberg in an interview with CNN talks about the essence of her organisation’s work to protect mantas.

To make sure that the oceans and seas are healthy, we should take into account all the species living in them. Working with these charismatic creatures and trying to understand them will make us want to care for their environment. By the same token, the oceans as a whole. If you care about the fate of the giant manta ray, you want it to live in a healthy environment and you will strive to ensure that it does.

Working at the grass roots

Forsberg, who was honoured with the 2016 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, points out that community engagement and education are needed to achieve long-term ocean conservation. She describes why it is local action that is so important.

In order to make a difference to protect our seas and oceans, it is the local perspective and the individual approach that matters most. It is about people. Of course policies, enforcement, regulation or sustainable business practices and science are important. But above all, it is important to look at all sectors of society and identify what contribution each can make.

One of the key elements of this community-centred approach is helping fishermen in finding alternative income through ecotourism.

It is not enough just to research and educate, but to think of creative solutions. These can support the livelihoods of these impoverished communities and give an alternative to small-scale fishers. We are working with fishermen to develop community-based ecotourism. This is not only a way in which fishermen can contribute to conservation. They can also earn an additional income that really benefits them and their communities.

Material sources: CNN, Call to Earth

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About author

Julia
My love for scuba diving started as a 12-year-old in the Canary Islands, at which time I took my first Open Water Diver course. This love for the blue turned into a huge passion that accompanies me to this day. Although blue is hard to come by in the Baltic, no conditions are terrible for me. In this sport, I find peace, patience, courage, focus, and balance. I have recently started to engage in underwater modeling and I am fulfilled with this.
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