Ocean Health Index Makes Waves at World Economic Forum
“The ocean is large and opaque. It is an act of irresponsible faith to think
that this impenetrable blue mass is big enough to absorb all our sins
without consequence. We need to finish the work of realistically assessing
the ocean's value, and cherish it accordingly.”
~Tony Haymet, Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
University of California at San Diego, USA
The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Oceans endorses the Ocean Health Index (OHI) an NCEAS partner, to help guide how the world's oceans are managed. The OHI rates the world's ocean health on a scale of 0 - 100 based on measures of ecological health and human benefits and currently gives global ocean health a score of 60.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the OHI "is the first global standard that is scientifically grounded and transparent." WEF is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. OHI is an integral part of the WEF’s newly launched interactive website titled “Future of Our Oceans”.
Ben Halpern is OHI's lead scientist and a research associate at National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). Over the past 10 years, Halpern's synthesis research and collaborations at NCEAS on ecosystem-based management and mapping global impacts of marine systems have laid the foundation for his work on the OHI. Halpern and many of his scientific and technical OHI team members reside at NCEAS and contribute to many of the Center's activities.
"My experience at NCEAS as a postdoc, working group member, project scientist, and now research associate has had a profound influence on the way I do science," said Halpern. "The world is awash in data -- at NCEAS we leverage those data through new analyses and syntheses to develop a more comprehensive and deeper understanding of how the world works."