The United Nations Ocean Conference 2022, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, took place this week in Lisbon, Portugal, focussed on “Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions.”
As the UN states, the conference came at “a critical time, as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.” It sought “to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.”
Blue Marine Foundation co-hosted a mid-week event on “Sharks, Rewilding, and Hope for the Ocean,” alongside Sea Shepherd, Mission Blue and Gallifrey Foundation, during which revered marine biologist and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Sylvia Earle, said “People are coming together now – that’s our gift. We can turn from decline to recovery. To reach a turning point, not a tipping point.”
Marine biologist Sylvia Earle with Blue Marine executive director Charles Clover, holding Charles’s book, Rewilding the Sea.
And, far from promising much but achieving little, there were some notable announcements of high ambition that came out of the week.
- Colombian President Ivan Duque announced four new marine protected areas, protecting 30 per cent of Colombia’s waters.
- Uruguay announced a new marine protected area in the Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary of Uruguay Hope Spot.
- Portugal will expand its marine protected area in the Azores Archipelago and Madeira to meet commitments to protect 30 per cent of its ocean by 2023.
- Palau launched a new Alliance of Countries calling for a deep sea mining moratorium.
- The Dominican Republic announced its commitment to protected 30 per cent of its territorial waters by 2030.
Blue Marine executive director Charles Clover congratulates the President of Columbia, Iván Duque Márquez, on his commitment to ocean protection.
Alongside these, Blue Marine was named a new member of the International Partnership for Blue Carbon (IPBC) , and a new dialogue was opened to include the Convex Seascape Survey into the actions of the Global Ocean Decade Programme for Blue Carbon (GO-BC).
The GO-BC programme, led by the University of St Andrews and endorsed by UNESCO, will address the effects of climate change on the ocean, focusing on the role of blue carbon ecosystems across estuarine, coastal and open ocean environments for better ocean sustainability.
The five-year Convex Seascape Survey, between partners Blue Marine Foundation, the University of Exeter and Convex Insurance, seeks to understand the properties and capability of the ocean and seabed in the Earth’s carbon cycle by focussing on an immense but neglected and misunderstood region of the ocean – the continental shelves.
Blue Marine senior policy manager, Jonny Hughes, fisheries minister of Saint Vincent and grenadines, Hon. Saboto Cesar, and Blue Marine projects director David Tudor.
Blue Marine projects manager, Shaha Hashim presents on the #SaveOurSharks campaign in the Maldives.