Ocean & Coasts

A healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems are vitally important for humans and the environment. The ocean regulates the climate, absorbs much of the carbon dioxide emitted from human activity, and provides fish, the main source of protein for over three billion people. The ecosystem goods and services the ocean provides are estimated to be worth USD 12 trillion. The biological diversity of ocean and coastal regions also provides important services including food security, feed for livestock, raw materials for medicines, building materials from coral rock and sand, and natural defenses against coastal erosion and flooding. Millions of people rely on marine and coastal biodiversity for their food security, income, and socio-cultural and economic development. Human activities put pressure on coastal and marine ecosystems, including through climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Ninety percent of the world's fisheries are either fully or over-exploited. Eight million tons of plastics enter the sea each year and contaminate a quarter of all seafood. Eighty percent of wastewater is discharged without treatment, damaging human health and biodiversity.

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2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Develop an International Legally Binding Instrument on Plastic Pollution, Including in the Marine Environment (INC-2)

While the meeting was characterized by procedural scuffles, long delays, and late nights, delegates shared views on an options paper and set out a path for the intersessional period leading to the next negotiating session, mandating the preparation of a “zero draft” of the new treaty to address plastics pollution.
Event 29 May 2023 - 2 June 2023

14th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

Held in a spirit of celebration of recent international progress, notably the newly agreed UN high seas treaty, the 14th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative discussed options for ocean conservation and a sustainable blue economy. Debates centered on fisheries, marine protected areas, ecosystem restoration and scaling solutions.
Event 20 March 2023

Resumed 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on BBNJ

Governments agreed on a draft treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The eventual treaty will address exploitation of marine genetic resources, including benefit-sharing; establish area-based management tools, such as marine protected areas; set procedures for environmental impact assessments; and provide capacity building and transfer of marine technology.
Event 20 February 2023 - 4 March 2023

5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5)

Ocean conservation experts and high-level officials gathered to discuss how to advance Ocean protection and a way forward to achieve conservation targets, including to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and Ocean by 2030 (30 by 30).
Event 3 February 2023 - 9 February 2023

1st Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-1)

While most delegations seem to agree that there are negative effects surrounding plastic pollution, it was clear they have yet to find common ground on the details and contents of key substantive themes that will determine the scope and guide the implementation of the future international treaty.
Event 26 November 2022 - 2 December 2022