The European Union (EU) is launching an interactive map in order to track the various commitments made by governments, NGOs and businesses around the world. Previous conferences have resulted in nearly one thousand commitments.
The Ocean Tracker was a commitment made in 2017 when the EU hosted the Our Ocean conference in Malta, looks to ensure that progress on these actions is visible, therefore providing more transparency.
“Ocean sustainability is a global challenge that needs crosscutting and international action. It is time to take ocean governance to the next level,” said Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for Environment, Maritime affairs and Fisheries, who is representing the EU at the conference. “With this new set of commitments and the delivery of The Ocean Tracker, the EU demonstrates its leadership in ocean sustainability.”
Additionally, 22 new commitments worth almost €540 million have been pledged towards effective innovation in ocean conservation and climate change, improve knowledge bases and promoting the development of the sustainable blue economy both within and beyond Europe.
€250 million will be dedicated to improve the understanding of sustainable fisheries, tackling marine pollution, decarbonising shipping and promoting blue renewable energy, and will boost new technologies in these areas. More than €100 million will be dedicated to promote the further development of a sustainable blue economy in Europe. Furthermore, €12.8 million will be dedicated to the Copernicus program on sea ice and cryosphere climate monitoring to better understand climate change effects in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The EU will contribute €9.9 million to the Joint Pacific Initiative on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience launched by France to increase the capacities of 19 Pacific states and territories to adapt to the impact of climate change and other stressors and to protect and enhance biodiversity. The commitments also include an examination and promotion of ‘green shipping’ innovations.
“Oceans are not only our common wealth, but our future. It is our responsibility to ensure that they are healthy and protected worldwide,” sad the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica. “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.”
These commitments, in addition to those pledged and the previous Our Ocean conferences, all aim to accelerate the shift towards circular economy and to become a zero carbon economy by 2050.
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