World Ocean Day marks an occasion to reflect on the importance our oceans have and the pressing need to conserve and preserve them.
How does land use influence the ocean?
Oceans are significantly influenced by land and freshwater watersheds. For example, coral reefs and coastal ecosystems are impacted by the sediment, nutrients, and pollutants carried by runoff from the land into rivers and ultimately the oceans. Marine life is also supported by nutrients from land sources, but too much of a good thing can lead to eutrophication and hazardous algal blooms; that over time cause dead zones and areas of unproductivity. Industrial waste and plastic trash are examples of the kind of land-based influences that can damage marine habitats. Additionally, water chemistry and quality are impacted by groundwater discharge into coastal areas.
Circular Land Farming: A Path to Ocean Conservation
Circular farming involves designing agricultural systems that mimic the regenerative and self- sustaining qualities of natural ecosystems. By adopting circular farming practices, reliance on harmful inputs is reduced, waste generation is minimized, and resource efficiency is maximized. Such practices have a direct and positive impact on ocean conservation in some of the following ways:
Traditional farming methods often involve the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which can leach into water bodies and harm marine life. By implementing circular farming techniques on land, the use of harmful chemicals are minimized, thus reducing pollution runoff into rivers and ultimately the oceans.
Overfishing is a major threat to marine biodiversity, as too many fish stocks are being depleted in order to feed a growing population. Circular farming solutions prioritize the cultivation of sustainable and nutritious food sources on land, thereby reducing the demand for wild-caught fish and easing the pressure on marine ecosystems. Additionally, by cultivating food on land and close to communities, the local food supply is strengthened and other negative impacts along the food value chain are decreased.
Preserving Marine Habitats
Destructive fishing practices and coastal development have led to the destruction of vital marine habitats like coral reefs and seagrass beds. By promoting land-based circular farming systems, fragile ecosystems can be protected by reducing the need for expanding aquaculture operations into the ocean.
Join forces with INCiTiS-FOOD for Ocean Conservation
INCiTiS-FOOD (INtegrated and Circular Technologies for Sustainable city region FOOD systems in Africa) is a groundbreaking EU-founded project focused on developing circular farming solutions to
promote sustainable food production while minimizing environmental impact. By implementing innovative techniques and technologies in Africa, INCiTiS-FOOD aims to create a sustainable and circular food system that benefits both land and sea, while delivering nutritious food to local African communities.
INCiTiS-FOOD is actively collaborating with various stakeholders, including farmers, researchers, policymakers, and NGOs, to implement and scale up circular farming solutions. By sharing knowledge, promoting best practices, and fostering collaboration, the project aims to create a collective effort towards saving the great sustainable agenda.