Monday, October 3, 2022

UN summit concludes with calls for greater ambition and global commitment to tackle dire sea conditions

Lisbon – After a week of discussions and events in Lisbon, Portugal, the United Nations Oceans Conference concluded on Friday, with governments and heads of state agreeing on a new political declaration to save our ocean.

Acknowledging the “collective failure” of the past in the summit’s final declaration, world leaders called for greater ambition to ensure that the dire ocean situation is addressed, and “deeply concerned by the global emergency facing the ocean”. “To be explicitly acknowledged.

At the conclusion, UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares commended the co-hosts – Portugal and Kenya – for the overwhelming success of the conference.

,[The Conference] It has given us the opportunity to unpack important issues and generate new ideas. It has also made clear the work that is left, and the need to increase that work for the recovery of our ocean,” said Sarpa Soares, adding that it is now necessary to turn the tide.

The conference was attended by more than 6,000 participants, including 24 heads of state and government, and more than 2,000 representatives of civil society, and advocated for immediate and concrete action to tackle the sea crisis.

collective failure

Acknowledging the hitherto “collective failure to achieve the goals related to the sea”, the leaders renewed their commitment to take immediate action and cooperate at all levels to fully achieve the goals as soon as possible.

Challenges facing the ocean include coastal erosion, rising sea levels, warmer and more acidic waters, marine pollution, overexploitation of fish stocks, and loss of marine biodiversity.

Recognizing that climate change is “one of the greatest challenges of our time”, and that “decisive and urgent action is needed to improve the health, productivity, sustainable use and resilience of the ocean and its ecosystems”, Top politicians gathered in Lisbon stressed that science-based and innovative actions, along with international cooperation, are essential to provide the needed solutions.

Calling for transformative change, the leaders stressed the need to address the cumulative impacts of a warming planet on the oceans, including ecosystem degradation and species extinction.

confirmation of commitments

Reaffirming that the ocean is fundamental to life on our planet and our future, the signatories stressed the particular importance of implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement and last November’s Glasgow Climate Agreement to improve health, productivity, sustainable use and help ensure flexibility. Ocean.

“We are committed to preventing and reversing the decline in the health of ocean ecosystems and biodiversity, and to protecting and restoring its resilience and ecological integrity.

Voluntary commitments include:

The Protecting Our Planet Challenge will invest at least $1 billion to help create, expand and manage marine protected areas by 2030.

The European Investment Bank will extend an additional 150 million euros to the Caribbean region to improve climate resilience, water management and solid waste management as part of the Clean Ocean Initiative.

Portugal is committed to ensuring that 100 percent of the marine area under Portuguese sovereignty or jurisdiction is assessed as being in a good environmental state and classifies 30% of the national maritime areas by 2030.

Kenya is currently developing a national blue economy strategic plan, inclusive and multi-stakeholder-oriented. Kenya is also committed to developing a national action plan on ocean-based marine plastic litter.

India is committed to a Coastal Clean Sea campaign and will work towards banning single-use plastics.

“We call for an ambitious, balanced, pragmatic, effective, robust and transformative post-2020 global biodiversity framework”, the Lisbon declaration continued.

Resilient and healthy marine environments are the foundation for climate regulation and sustainable development, with the potential to produce food and energy for billions of people.

At the convention, more than 150 member states made voluntary commitments to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of the global ocean within marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2030.

“I’m impressed with the new commitments” [countries made]”Commitments must be implemented at speed and monitored”, Sarpa Soares said in the closing ceremony. Some examples include:

Protecting more than 30% of the national marine areas by 2030

Achieving carbon neutrality by 2040

reducing plastic pollution

Increase in the use of renewable energy

Allocating billions of dollars to research on ocean acidification, climate resilience projects and monitoring, control and monitoring

beyond 2030

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) aims to get the science we need, the oceans we want.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has set out to generate and use knowledge for the transformational action needed to achieve a healthy, safe and resilient ocean for sustainable development in 2030 and beyond. With a mission to do. Action has been driving development for decades.

To that end, the Decade Framework is designed to produce better informed ocean management, restoring fish stocks; To take action for sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture for adequate, safe and nutritious food.

It also sets out to reduce all forms of marine pollution from both land and sea-based sources, works towards more effective marine conservation, and develops and implements climate change-friendly measures, reducing disaster risk. Minimizes, and impacts of, sea level rise, as well as reducing emissions from maritime transport.

Recognizing that developing countries, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries, face special capability challenges, political leaders need to strengthen data collection efforts and share knowledge. Committed to increasing cooperation at all levels.

after lisbon

There is another special focus of the funding announcement. The seven-page document states that innovative financing solutions must be found to drive the change towards sustainable ocean-based economies, and ecosystem-based approaches to resilience, restoration and conservation along with nature-based solutions must be found. should be developed to support Ecosystem

Declaring that the conference proved that the blue economy is now a big part of humanity’s future security, Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, called for more financial resources.

He said the Secretary-General had insisted on consensus after launching the Red Alert for Humanity, and Thomson said 2022 was proving to be a “super year”, calling on young people to be at the table for all discussions. has gone. The future of the ocean is on the way.

Speaking to UN News, Miguel de Serpa Soares said that the UN Ocean Conference was not the sole focus for maritime action this year.

“Over the next several months, we will have a number of important events that provide many opportunities to demonstrate our commitments and ambitions to turn the tide in favor of ocean sustainability”.

Following the incident in Lisbon, the way to save our ocean is a treaty on the marine biodiversity of regions beyond national jurisdiction, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework negotiations, and the Intergovernmental Conference on Climate Finance and negotiations for increased adaptation actions. will continue through COP27 in Egypt.

Empower youth, women and indigenous peoples

Recognizing the important role of indigenous, traditional and local knowledge, innovation and practices held by indigenous peoples, as well as the role of social science in planning, decision-making and implementation, leaders are calling for the meaningful participation of local communities.

“Empowering women and girls as their full, equal and meaningful participation is the key to moving towards a sustainable ocean-based economy and achieving Goal 14”, the declaration highlights, to enable youth to understand them The importance of giving strength was stressed. “The need to contribute to ocean health, including decision-making through promoting and supporting quality education and life-long learning for ocean literacy”.

Calling for immediate ambitions from stakeholders and concerted action to accelerate implementation to achieve Goal 14, the conference concluded that “restoring harmony with nature through a healthy ocean is critical to the planet”.

hope, and urgency

Buoyed by a renewed sense of hope and urgency about our future ocean, Serpa Soares concluded: “As we set out, we must follow through on our commitments”.

“As the famous Tongan and Fijian writer Apeli Hoffa said, we are the ocean. The ocean is in all of us, it sustains us, and it is the basis of our future existence on this planet Earth,” he said.

power of science

Building on the scientific focus of the week, UNESCO on Friday launched its major State of the Ocean report.

The report was developed to provide new and revealing data on the current state of the ocean, structured around the first 10 challenges of the decade.

The head of UNESCO’s Ocean Sciences Section, Henrik Enwaldsson, spoke to UN News and said that the report complemented the scientific work of the conference, enhancing our ability to manage the ocean.

Talking about the outcome of the conference, he said, “The areas were highlighted where we need more knowledge to provide a fair basis for decision makers. [and to] Manage the ocean better. — United Nations News

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