<p>Today, the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy unveiled the renewed EU agenda on International Ocean Governance (IOG), proposing actions for a secure, clean and sustainably managed ocean.</p>
International ocean governance
<p>Today, at the Our Ocean Conference (OOC) in Palau, the EU has renewed its pledges towards international ocean governance. Presenting a list of 44 commitments for the 2020-2022 period for an amount of almost €1 billion, the EU has brought forward its most important commitments ever offered..</p>
<p>The fourth Intergovernmental Conference on a Treaty of the High Seas (the UNCLOS implementing agreement on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, known also as “BBNJ”) concluded its work on March 18, and an agreement on an ambitious, fair, effective agreement on the treaty is in sight.</p>
<p>Climate change is impacting ecosystems in the Arctic. For over a full year, scientists from 20 nations traveled the Artic Ocean onboard the German research vessel Polarstern to better understand climate processes.</p>
<p>Dear President Macron, cher Emmanuel, Thank you for hosting us, here in the wild and beautiful Brittany.</p>
<p>The Commission is presenting today ambitious initiatives to promote a cleaner, healthier and safer ocean, as part of the EU's contribution to the One Ocean Summit hosted by France in Brest and a demonstration of EU's leading role in bringing a comprehensive response to oceans challenges.</p>
<p>On 7 December, the UN General Assembly debated and adopted two resolutions on “Oceans and Law of the Sea” and on “Sustainable Fisheries”, aiming to ensure that oceans and seas can be the basis for sustainable development and provide for the needs of current and future generations.</p>
<p>The ocean is a key enabler of life on Earth, producing 50% of the oxygen in the atmosphere, absorbing about 25% of human-produced carbon dioxide emissions and 90% of excess heat in the climate system, and regulating the global climate.</p>
<p>The High Representative and the Commission have put forward their approach for a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic.</p>
<p>Fragile ecosystems of Antarctica are threatened by climate change and overfishing, and the EU is leading international efforts to study and protect marine life along the shores of the southern continent.</p>
On 25 June 2021, the Agreement to prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean enters into force.This is an important step towards ensuring that any future fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean will be carried out sustainably.
On this June 8th, as we celebrate World Oceans Day, we are happy to announce the 2021 edition of the #EUBeachCleanup campaign, aiming to raise awareness on the human impact on the ocean and build a worldwide citizens’ movement for sustainable action.
Fossil oil – commonly dubbed the “Black Gold” – is quickly losing its sparkle as countries and companies turn their back on the sticky fuel over concerns about climate change and environmental pollution. And it increasingly looks like the blue economy is ready to take over!
The European Commission and the European External Action Service have launched a targeted consultation to assess development needs and options for the EU’s international ocean governance agenda.
Bringing together actors, stakeholders and experts within and beyond Europe for interactive dialogues on ocean challenges and governance solutions, the IOG forum will support follow-up and further development of the EU’s IOG agenda. The IOG forum will be launched with a high-level event on April 22, 2020, followed by dedicated thematic working groups on April 23-24, 2020.
The European Union and Canada signed an ocean partnership agreement on 18 July. The partnerships confirms the two sides’ belief that ocean governance is a shared challenge and responsibility. Only international cooperation can ensure the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, their resources and ecosystems.
On 19 March, more than 1000 people gathered in Brussels for this year’s largest EU event on oceans. Organised by MEP Gesine Meissner and European Commissioner Karmenu Vella, the event hosted our continent’s most influential advocates for healthy, safe and sustainable oceans. And with a large delegation of students and youth organisations in the room, the conference was more than an interesting recap of today’s status quo. It was a plea for even more ambition, from policy makers, companies and civil society, to safeguard the most precious organism of our planet: our ocean.
The Commission on 15 March 2019 published a report outlining the progress made on the ocean governance agenda since the adoption of a Joint Communication on International Ocean Governance, together with the High Representative of the European Union, two years ago.
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted two resolutions concerning the oceans and the Law of the Sea and sustainable fisheries, in line with the EU’s agenda on ocean governance.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, is in the Faroe Islands for the 23rd North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference (27-28 August).