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Montevideo, April 19th 2024 - 08:35 UTC



OOS marks the beginning of an era when seas are to be protected as well

Monday, February 14th 2022 - 09:59 UTC
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In Brest, France and Colombia launched a global coalition for blue carbon In Brest, France and Colombia launched a global coalition for blue carbon

The First One Ocean Summit (OOS) held at the French City of Brest, last Friday arrived at a series of conclusions regarding environmental policies which were deemed necessary to protect the planet in the coming years, it was announced.

 Action is required to preserve biodiversity, stop over-exploitation of marine resources, fight pollution and mitigate climate change, the OOS found.

The event, held in the context of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the support of the United Nations, brought together 41 states and representatives of civil society and businesses, including the leaders of the world’s major shipping lines.

Also involved at the OOS were United Nations, UNESCO and the International Maritime Organization.

The 27 member states of the European Union were joined by 16 countries. Together, they have have launched the High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).

Meanwhile, European shipowners have committed to the new Green Marine Europe label, which entails tangible measures in eight fields: underwater noise, pollutant air emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, aquatic invasive species, residues, oily discharge and ship recycling. Representatives from Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, CGM and MSC showed the industry´s unity around the urgent need to decarbonise shipping.

The summit agreed that creating protected areas was an essential pillar for preserving biodiversity. More than 30 additional countries have joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People launched at the One Planet Summit in January 2021. Now, 84 countries aim to protect 30% of the world’s land and sea by 2030. Two thirds of the ocean, beyond national jurisdiction, representing 45% of the surface of our planet, cannot currently enjoy marine protected area status.

In order to reduce atmospheric pollution, all Mediterranean countries, along with the European Union, have committed to ask the IMO to create a low sulphur emissions zone across the Mediterranean starting on 1 January 2025, while France, Spain, Italy and Monaco will also ask the IMO to establish a “Particularly Sensitive Sea Area” given the presence of many cetaceans, in order to limit sailing speeds and reduce collisions.

In Brest, France and Colombia launched a global coalition for blue carbon, which will bring together national and multilateral actors in the field to contribute to financing the restoration of coastal ecosystems, using shared and rigorous methodologies.

At the summit, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development joined the European Investment Bank and the development banks of France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which have joined forces in an initiative for the reduction of plastic pollution at sea, the Clean Oceans Initiative. Together, they have doubled their efforts in this sector, committing to provide €4 billion by 2025.

The work of the One Ocean Summit is the starting point of a series of international meetings where the oceans will be central, including the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, in June, and COP27 in Egypt.

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