The European Commission has announced over
€550 million of EU-funded initiatives to tackle global oceans challenges, at the
‘Our Ocean Conference 2017’ in Malta, co-hosted by High
Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and
Fisheries, says a release on 6th Oct. More than six billion
euros committed by public and private actors to better manage oceans at
European Union-hosted conference in Malta.
The commitments announced in Malta made by
the Commission and by other public and private actors from 112 countries around
the world reached over €6 billion. The resources will be invested to strengthen
the fight against marine pollution and enlarge protected areas, reinforce
security of the oceans, foster blue economy initiatives and sustainable
fisheries and intensify the EU efforts against climate change, in line with the
Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals under Agenda
2030. Participants also announced the creation of new Marine Protected Areas
spanning more than 2.5 million km˛, or more than half the size of the entire
The full list of over 400 commitments (36
from the EU, over 200 from third country governments, more than 100 from
business and several others from NGOs, foundations, research institutes and
international organisations) are available online. First Vice-President
Frans Timmermans said: "The European Commission has
demonstrated with concrete pledges its strong commitment to the sustainability,
security and prosperity of our oceans. If they are at risk, so are we, for the
oceans nourish our planet and our people, and they connect us to our partners
around the world."
Federica Mogherini said: "The sea is a global common. It is
Our Ocean because it belongs to humanity, to each and every human being. We all
have a responsibility to preserve what's common – to preserve it as a treasure
and avoid that it turns into a threat. The European Union believes that a
globalised world needs a more cooperative global governance. We believe in the
power of diplomacy, we invest in it, we believe and invest in the power of
common rules and international institutions. And it is difficult, actually
impossible, to imagine a global governance without a cooperative oceans'
Karmenu Vella said: "Three years ago I was asked by President
Juncker to define the EU's global ocean role. I think together we have
delivered. Our policies on land, like our commitment to the circular economy
and reduced plastic waste; and at sea, on marine pollution, on protected areas,
and on harnessing the ocean's clean energy, clearly demonstrate this. The
European Union is earning respect and inspiring action across the planet".
Neven Mimica said:"These two days have delivered on our
Sustainable Development Goals ocean commitments. Small-scale fishermen around
the world have a better chance of fishing safely, legally, and sustainably.
Food chains are more secure. Coastal areas more protected. We are acting on the
climate challenge. For many of our developing country partners, sustainable
ocean governance is a question of survival. The road ahead is still long, but
we are moving in the right direction."
The Our Ocean Conference has brought
together public and private actors from six continents, who are collectively
committed to the cause of better ocean governance and the sustainable use of
the oceans. EU commitments reach far beyond its geographical region, to support
sustainable international ocean use worldwide, focusing in particular on
developing countries. For the first time, the Conference gathered significant
commitments from the private sector, including Airbus, Unilever, Procter &
Gamble, PepsiCo, Marks & Spencer, Carrefour, Royal Caribbean Cruises, AXA,
Sky and others. The next ocean conference will be held in Indonesia in 2018.