In 2022, the ocean is high on the international agenda. After being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Ocean Conference is due to convene in Lisbon in June. In the autumn, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will convene its 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15), where parties are expected to agree a post-2015 global biodiversity framework, of which the ocean will form an important element. Meanwhile, many expect the negotiations towards a new international treaty on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) to be concluded before the end of the year. In addition, negotiations under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization aim to agree on a carbon pricing mechanism and to reduce ship speeds.
In this context, the 13th meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI 13) convened. MBI 13, which kicked off the fifth edition of Monaco Ocean Week, brought together representatives from governments, the private sector, financial institutions, scientific institutions, and civil society to discuss issues relating to ocean protection.
In a welcome address, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco said we must strengthen political tools, adopt a collective approach, and mobilize civil society as a whole to take action all together without delay.
In a keynote speech, John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, US, urged connecting the dots between ocean protection and solving the climate crisis. He said "our enemy is the status quo," highlighting the need for green shipping, zero emissions from international shipping by 2050, and scaling up offshore wind.
Session One: The Need for a New Bold Vision for Ocean Conservation: This session reflected on what is needed to step up ambition for Ocean protection over the next decade and beyond. Panelists discussed the goal of protecting 30% of the Ocean through marine protected areas (MPAs) and other effective area-based Conservation Measures by 2030 (the 30x30 goal), and success stories of creating impact on the ground. They discussed opportunities and challenges for financing ocean protection, including working with coastal communities.
Session Two: Ocean Protection - Everyone's Business: This session focused on best practices and success stories to scale up the sustainable blue economy. Panelists discussed the role of deep seabed mining in the blue economy, and shared experiences in integrating ocean protection into business models.
Jean-François Ferrari, Designated Minister and Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, the Seychelles, in a keynote speech, said the Seychelles has already met the 30x30 goal, and has implemented a blue economy development model that balances development and conservation.
Session Three: Blue Finance: During this session, participants from the finance sector discussed key ways to align financial flows with ocean protection. They identified ways the ocean can be integrated into emerging frameworks around climate risk. Participants also debated whether and how a value should be placed on nature.
In a keynote speech, Andrea Meza Murillo, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica, said the 30x30 goal is not only good for the ocean, but is good for the economy because it will generate green jobs.
Ocean Updates: Panellists provided updates on the BBNJ negotiations, CBD COP 15, and the fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5).
In closing remarks, Robert Calcagno, CEO, Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, said there is still a long way to go to effectively protect the ocean, and highlighted the role of corporations, investors and bankers in this regard. Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, highlighted that Sustainable Development Goal 14 (life below water) is one of the least financed goals, but is integral to the achievement of many others, noting MBI 13 had highlighted success stories that prove that a different way to benefit from ocean resources is possible.
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