Our Ocean: EU pledges over €800 million to ocean protection

our ocean eu

The EU has committed to funding ocean protection actions to the tune of €816.5 million at the Our Ocean Conference in Panama held this week, one of the biggest amounts the bloc has ever pledged to the cause.  

The 2023 Our Ocean Conference was held in Panama on 2nd and 3rd March to much ado. Organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) and chaired by climatologist and oceanographer Vladimir Ryabinin, the event drew attention for speaking out on relevant themes and solid action-taking stances by participants.  

One such participant was the EU, who pledged a massive €816.5 million sum to 39 action plans for the year 2023. The funding will go to initiatives and activities involving marine protected areas, marine pollution, climate change, sustainable fishing, blue economy projects and maritime security.  

Broken down, it means that €320 million has been earmarked for research into protecting marine biodiversity and the impacts of climate change on the seas. These funds will help develop the Digital Twin of the Ocean, which uses historical data to predict future events, and implement the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance. It will also support the objectives of the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030′, which has set targets that include the cleaning-up of marine and fresh waters, restoring degraded ecosystems and habitats, and decarbonising the blue economy.  

Another €250 million will be dedicated to the satellite launch of Sentinel-1C, an instrumental asset offering real-time observations of the icebergs and melts of the Arctic region.  

A further €126 million will be sent to fight climate change in Benin, Guyana and Tanzania. Regional fishery management organisations (RFMOs) will benefit from €24 million, and the remaining €1 million will go to World Trade Organisation fishing subsidies projects to support developing nations.  

Progress on the EU’s plans resulting from the conference can be tracked on a commitment tracking tool found here.


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 


Photo source: Annie Spratt for Unsplash