World leaders and marine specialists have come together in Brest, France, this week for the One Ocean Summit. Organised by French President Emmanuel Macron, the event is designed to rally definitive support for the oceans.
Oceans cover over 70% of the Earth. This alone should make their protection a major priority in the world, but too often, the problems of the seas are shunted aside by the world’s key players.
As the regulator of the environment, and climate more specifically, a large source of resources and an important trade enabler, it is a link between countries and communities that is under great threat. Pressures such as climate change, overfishing and pollution are creating a situation that is about to reach critical mass in the coming years.
To combat further damage and potentially reverse current bad habits, French President Emmanuel Macron set up the One Ocean Summit. In conjunction with the United Nations, the three-day event being held 9th to 11th February will be a gathering point to discuss the issues affecting the seas.
On the first two days there will be over 30 roundtables, forums, workshops and initiatives with high-level people to engage the international marine community. Amongst the topics are sustainable tourism, ocean governance, the Med, polar oceans, investing in the seas, green maritime corridors, and education for youth.
The final day has been earmarked for a morning where heads of state and government, leaders of multilateral institutions, business leaders and civil society policymakers will join forces to make commitments to improve sea conditions. In this context, more than 500 representatives from 65 countries will be in attendance, with many more speakers taking part live via the internet.
“Several important initiatives will be launched on this occasion in favour of marine ecosystem protection and sustainable fisheries, intended to fight pollution, in particular from plastics, respond to the impacts of climate change, as well as advocate for improved governance of the oceans,” state the event organisers on their website.
The One Ocean Summit is being held in the context of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash