Dolphins in Lisbon river show benefits of protecting nature
Delegates attending a UN conference in Lisbon next week might take inspiration for their efforts to protect the oceans by looking out of the venue's windows at Portugal's longest river, where frolicking dolphins nowadays delight locals and tourists.
"In the past 10 years, with the water improvement, we started seeing wildlife much more frequently," says local sailor and guide Bernardo Queiroz, who organizes trips to see bottlenose and common dolphins in the river.
"We used to see (the dolphins) 10 times a year and now we have (them) 200 days a year," he says.
Queiroz's tour business aims to create awareness about the importance and the benefits of nature preservation.
The United Nations is hoping that a conference starting Monday will bring fresh momentum for protracted efforts to find an international agreement on protecting the world's oceans.
No comprehensive legal framework covers the high seas. Oceans cover some 70% of the earth's surface and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people. Some activists refer to them as the largest unregulated area on the planet. The oceans face a "severe" threat from global warming, pollution, acidification, and other problems, the UN says.
The conference is set to adopt a declaration that, although not binding on its signatories, could help implement and facilitate the protection and conservation of oceans and their resources, according to the UN. The declaration is due to be endorsed on Friday.
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