University of São Paulo: Collective awareness is needed to control the emission of waste in the marine environment

This week’s Ocean Special , a partnership between Jornal da USP and Rádio USP and the UNESCO Chair for Ocean Sustainability, talks with Professor Tito Monteiro Lotufo, from the Department of Biological Oceanography at the Oceanographic Institute (IO-USP), to talk about the conservation of nature.

As explained by Lotufo, the world began to wake up to the issue of ecosystems throughout the 20th century, due to progressive industrialization. A milestone was the introduction of DDT, the first modern pesticide, which gave light to discussions about the harmful impacts of this compound on the food chain. Other important milestones were the Stockholm Conference in 1972 and Rio-92, which aimed to incorporate the environmental agenda into public agendas.

The professor also highlights the attempts to reduce the use of plastic, starting, for example, with the use of returnable bags, in addition to the government regulation itself. But, for him, “we are still very far from a really effective awareness”, as the main challenge today is that of global climate change.

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According to Lotufo, it is necessary to have a strict State policy that is effective in controlling the emission of waste in the marine environment and in the planning of fishing and occupation of the coastal zone, in order to include conservation units and society in general, from local actions and national coordination. “There must be a continuous flow of information, it cannot be built from top to bottom and actions must be coordinated between different scales. It has to be built with the participation of everyone”, says the expert.

“We live on a finite planet, confined in space and with intrinsic limitations. It is very important that we take care of this planet so that our own survival can be extended”, he concludes.

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