The EU will announce 22 new commitments on ocean sustainability at this year’s Our Ocean conference for marine governance.
The EU’s delegation to the Our Ocean conference, which will take place on 23 and 24 October in Oslo, Norway, will also launch the Ocean Tracker: an interactive map first announced in 2017, which will enable users to track the progress of the various commitments made by European governments, NGOs and businesses on protecting the marine environment, worth a total of more than €10bn. The European Commission notes that, of the 77 EU ocean commitments announced since the launch of the annual Our Ocean conference in 2014, nearly 80% either have been fully delivered or are close to completion; including 50% of the commitments made in the last year.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, who will represent the EU at the Our Ocean conference, said: “Ocean sustainability is a global challenge that needs crosscutting and international action. It is time to take ocean governance to the next level. With this new set of commitments and the delivery of the Ocean Tracker, the EU demonstrates its leadership in ocean sustainability.”
The new round of EU ocean commitments, worth nearly €540m in total, includes:
- €250m to support ocean research through the Horizon 2020 innovation programme;
- Promoting green shipping and combating marine pollution;
- A €40m partnership programme with countries in Africa, the Carribean and the Pacific (ACP) regions to improve the marine ecosystem worldwide;
- Promoting a sustainable blue economy with investment worth more than €100m; and
- €22.7m to be spent on developing ways to address and adapt to the growing impacts of climate change.
Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development said: “Oceans are not only our common wealth, but our future. It is our responsibility to ensure that they are healthy and protected worldwide. In our future partnership with ACP countries, we will continue acting as an international driving force by championing sustainable management of marine resources, while fostering blue economy and opportunities to improve people’s lives.”