Elsevier joins observance of World Environment Day 2004

UNEP-sponsored day focuses on seas and oceans this year.

Amsterdam, 5 June 2004 - In recognition of the United Nations Environment Program's (UNEP) World Environment Day, Elsevier has reaffirmed its commitment to providing support to scientists, researchers and students of environmental sciences. 

This year's World Environment Day, on June 5th, is dedicated to seas and oceans. According to Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, pollution is a threat not only to marine life, but also to human health. "Eighty percent of all pollution in the seas comes from land-based activities. Three-quarters of the world's mega-cities are located by the sea, and 40 per cent of the world's population now lives within 60 kilometres of a coast, " said Toepfer in a statement today.

The enormous scale of the planet's marine pollution is catalogued and assessed in a timely and comprehensive review article authored by Md. Shahidul Islam and Masaru Tanaka, from the bioscience department at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Agriculture, and now appearing in the authoritative Marine Pollution Bulletin.

The article, “Impacts of pollution on coastal and marine ecosystems including coastal and marine fisheries and approach for management: a review and synthesis,” documents the devastation caused to aquatic ecosystems by the intensive agricultural use of fertilizers, pesticides and agrochemicals. The escalating accumulation of toxins along the food chain, and the numerous, interconnected impacts of industrial and human pollution, including alarming quantities of plastic waste, are also discussed.

"As a scientist, I am concerned with the rational use of maritime and marine resources in estuaries, the seas and oceans. As an editor of a scientific publication in the aquatic sciences, I am happy to play a key role in scholarly communication - that is, to provide colleagues all over the world with information that is vital to their very important work. The fact that this year's World Environment Day is dedicated to seas and oceans is a welcome initiative which should give us all pause for thought," said Dr. Charles Sheppard, Reader in Biological Sciences at Warwick University (UK) and an editor of Elsevier's journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Intensive aquaculture causes major biologic pollution and has already genetically modified many species and compromised others. Developing countries are likely to generate the highest levels of pollution, so need to be better represented in much-needed programmes to protect and manage the marine environment, the authors urge.

Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 48, in which the article has been published, can be accessed for free courtesy of ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s premier electronic platform. Marine Pollution Bulletin, one of Elsevier's 1,800 journals, is an international publication for marine environmental scientists, engineers, administrators, politicians and lawyers. 

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