Updated: Sep 16, 2020
One of the most overlooked areas of sustainability is the ocean. Organizations like The Oxygen Project, Project Drawdown, and other sustainability initiatives have begun to highlight the importance of the earth’s oceans, but it is still not talked about enough in the main stream. When people think about plants pulling carbon out of the atmosphere, they think of forests on land full of trees, bushes, and other photosynthetic plants; however, photosynthetic organisms that live in marine environments like kelp absorb much more CO2. According to a blog post written by Sylvia Hurlimann from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, forests in the water can “sequester up to 20 times more carbon per acre than land forests”. And, because of the nature of oceans, a lot of these organisms get buried on the ocean floor and do not release their CO2 back into the atmosphere when they decay. In this way, the ocean acts as a permanent sink for carbon.
Apart from that magnificent characteristic, oceans offer so many more benefits and opportunities. Offshore, wind farming has great potential as one of the premier renewable energy sources along with new innovation to harness the energy of waves. Ocean farming not only provides healthy, organic vegetables and seafood but also an economic opportunity for coastal towns, and coral reefs are at the heart of the food system.
However, just as oceans are a great tool, they also hold great power to devastate if we do not protect them. Our coral reefs are dying off because of high CO2 levels and ocean acidification and rising sea levels will cause massive infrastructure damage and put cities underwater. There is a need to preserve our resources.
We will continue to discuss oceans, from 4Ocean cleaning up plastics, to investment opportunities, to organizations focusing on sustainable ocean farming like GreenWave, to the great barrier reef and coral producing sun screen, because the oceans are key to us fighting climate change and creating a sustainable future for all.
In the Koura district in Lebanon, which is the source of our name, you can look down over the valley and see the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The fact that that beautiful water is being polluted truly hurts us and we feel a need to protect it, so at the heart of what we stand for, lies the ocean. Only companies that understand that urgency and work to protect the oceans will be included in the Koura community and we will work towards a future where all of society sees them as a priority.