Global Ocean Commission, an independent group working to restore ocean ecological health and sustainable productivity, in which former Tata group chairman Ratan Tata is a member, has asked governments to invest in measures to help make seas resilient in the face of climate change.
"As we look at development priorities for the future, including the Sustainable Development Goals that governments are now sketching out, we need to make sure that ocean concerns are adequately reflected, because in the end a healthy ocean will contribute massively to a healthy human society," GOC co-Chair David Miliband said.
Citing UN's climate change assessment panel, GOC said it was found that the ocean is absorbing more than 90% of the heat trapped in the climate system by humanity's emissions of greenhouse gases.
"The ocean is also absorbing a quarter of our carbon dioxide emissions, which is causing seawater to acidify at a rate possibly unprecedented in 300 million years," it added.
"Without the immense capacity of the ocean to absorb heat and carbon dioxide, we would be experiencing much more severe climate change impacts than we see today," GOC Co-chair Trevor Manuel said.
Manuel, who is also a Minister in the Presidency of South Africa, further added: "The clear implication is that we need to redouble our efforts to make the ocean resilient in the face of climate change and acidification".
The GOC, an independent organisation working to restore the ocean to ecological health and sustainable productivity, called for governments urgently to invest in measures that improve resilience.
"That means simple measures such as establishing marine reserves, but more fundamentally, tackling the gaps in governance of the international ocean that lies at the heart of many of its current issues," Manuel said.