Regional Ocean Governance: Building on cooperation & partnerships for a coherent implementation of SDG14+
A valuable development in international oceans' governance is the growing importance of regional co-operation. Oceans and seas cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, regulate our climate, and supply 50% of the oxygen we breathe. They provide ecosystem services that are essential to sustainable ocean development, including food security and sustainable livelihoods. However, climate change, unsustainable exploitation of resources, pollution, as well as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) endanger marine life and people whose life critically depends on them.
Various international processes highlighted the importance of a more holistic approach to collaboration for healthy, productive and resilient oceans. Regional governance, including Regional Seas Organizations (RSOs) and Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) play an important role in delivering on Sustainable Development Goal 14 and related SDGs as well as commitments in achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
During the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly, that took place on 11-15 March 2019, policy-makers, private industry, academia and civil society addressed future global action, to address this need to protect oceans and fragile ecosystems. The new UN Environment Oceans Strategy was presented and existing cooperation frameworks highlighted as key platforms for coordinated action. Ministers also adopted a number of resolutions on marine plastic litter and micro plastics, emphasizing the need for comprehensive and coherent global governance, building in circularity and SCP and linking with innovative financing to act towards the long-term elimination of litter and microplastics.
This event will therefore gather the key partners to present this initiative and inform policy-makers of this pivotal international dialogue, raising further awareness in the EU institutions and among stakeholders.