Saturday, October 07, 2017

Over 6 bln euros committed to better managing oceans

better managing oceans
More than 6 billion euros (7.01 billion US dollars) was dedicated by public and private sectors from 112 countries to improve management of oceans at the Our Ocean conference 2017 being held on Friday in Malta .

Commitments strive to strengthen the fight against marine pollution, enlarge marine protected areas and reinforce maritime security.

Marine pollution is a massive problem with over 10 million tons of litter annually ending up in the sea. Many countries and organizations are committed to invest resources to control and reduce marine pollution.

The EU pledged 2.85 million euros to prevent marine pollution and 2.5 million euros for marine pollution exercises. The United States announced more than 400,000 US dollars to the new plastics economy initiative. France will dedicate 500,000 euros to UN Environment Program (UNEP) initiatives that fall under the global partnership on marine litter till 2020.

China plans to fight plastic waste pollution in estuaries and bays by developing plans of action and 8 million euros will go towards research on monitoring and preventative technologies against micro plastics.

Currently less than 5 percent of the world's marine and coastal areas are protected by law. Participants also announced the creation of new marine protected areas spanning more than 2.5 million sq km, or more than half the size of the entire European Union.

The EU committed 20 million euros to support the management of marine protected areas in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and proposed fishing restrictions in sensitive areas of the Adriatic Sea. Germany will lead an initiative with various partners to reinforce marine protection in the South Pacific and South Atlantic.

Maritime security is the basis for global trade and prosperity, but it is under threat from natural disasters, piracy, trafficking and armed conflict. EU announced 37.5 million euros for initiatives in East Africa and the Indian Ocean to improve maritime security and fight piracy.

Participants also committed to improving the blue economy, sustainable fisheries and climate change. All commitments will be tracked and reported at the next Our Ocean Conference in Indonesia in 2018.

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