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Global Treaty on Ocean and Biodiversity Protection Needed

Sara Cerdas regretted this Monday, during the plenary session, the absence of a global agreement to protect the oceans and marine biodiversity. The MEP considers it “disappointing” that negotiations aimed at an agreement this summer have been inconclusive.

“A coordinated response that recognises the need to respect the limits of our planet is imperative. Today, the crisis is not just one. It is a climate crisis, it is an environmental, oceans and biodiversity crisis.”

In June, the 2nd United Nations Ocean Conference was held in Lisbon. Sara Cerdas, who co-chaired the European Parliament delegation present at this conference, points out that “the international community has recognised the need to do more, to do better, in the protection of our oceans and our biodiversity,” but that the absence of an agreement means that “the longer we delay implementing global measures, the more we harm the most vulnerable, the most peripheral.”

The PS MEP appealed to leaders around the world to pay attention to science and the appeals of young people in the high-level negotiations that are taking place later this year, namely the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( COP27) and the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

In late August, after high-level negotiations at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, negotiators failed to reach an agreement on a treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions. . One of the priorities of the agreement would be to allow, by 2030, to classify 30% of marine areas as protected. António Costa, on the occasion of the 2nd United Nations Ocean Conference, in June, took the lead in relation to the conservation of maritime space under Portuguese sovereignty or jurisdiction, with concrete measures, in response to the growing environmental and economic challenges and exploration without rules of marine resources.

Nearly 60% of the oceans lie outside national areas of jurisdiction, implying a shared international responsibility, including to reduce overfishing, mining, pollution and other activities that endanger biodiversity and accelerate climate change.

In a recent news report, MSC Cruise Liners confirmed that they are now changing their route around Sri Lanka in order to prevent impacting on blue whales, whales and dolphins that feed in these waters. They say that by moving the shipping lane 15 nautical miles (28 km) south, they can reduce the number of whale/dolphin fatalities by ship strikes by up to 95%.  They are now calling on all other shipping agents to do the same.

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Samantha Gannon

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