Africa: The Southern Ocean Is in Trouble, but It Isn't Too Late to Do Something About It


The Southern Ocean is rising and tropical cyclones and coastal storms are becoming more frequent and increasing in intensity. Yet all is not lost. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions can put the brakes on the devastation.

The southern hemisphere, or the global south, is blue. Eighty percent of the surface area of the southern hemisphere is ocean; it's an oceanic south. Encircled by this ocean is the human experience. Within that resides history of the first humans, coastal inter-tidal zones that provide evidence for a pescatarian diet in early humans, some of the earliest evidence of abstract art found in a cave on the South African coast and the vibrant coastal trade just off East Africa, which supported Great Zimbabwe in its heyday.

The ocean seen from the coasts holds the cold memory of slavery and the arrival of early colonisers. Yet the oceanic south is also where thousands find their meaning and existence. From the fishers along its coasts to the surfers, it is both life-giving and life-taking. It is a place that brings together Ukama - we are who we are because of the people around us, our ancestors and the nature with which we co-exist.

This blue is...

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