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.

Events and Articles

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Showing 1 - 10 of 103 results

4th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

At the most productive meeting so far, “unprecedented progress” was made in discussions on marine genetic resources, including benefit sharing, area-based management tools, including marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, and capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.
Event 7 March 2022 - 18 March 2022

UNEA Flagship Side Events

During the resumed Fifth Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), side events focused on “Strengthening actions for nature to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Event 28 February 2022 - 4 March 2022

Barcelona Convention COP 22

As well as the landmark decision on controlling sulphur oxide emissions—which will have major health and environmental benefits for Mediterranean communities—COP 22 adopted several significant plans.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 7 December 2021 - 10 December 2021

60th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 60th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted a Work Program worth USD 281.1 million that includes eight stand-alone full-sized projects on international waters, four on biodiversity, three on climate change mitigation, and two on chemicals and waste.
Event 14 June 2021 - 18 June 2021

12th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monaco Blue Initiative brought together major players in ocean conservation and governance to explore solutions to challenges facing our Ocean and to promote a sustainable blue economy.
Event 22 March 2021

4th Meeting of the Ad-hoc Open-ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics (AHEG-4)

Delegates attending the fourth meeting of the ad-hoc open-ended expert group on marine litter and microplastics discussed and agreed on a Chair’s Summary to inform the fifth meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) on how best to tackle marine litter and microplastics. In their consideration of the Chair’s Summary, they engaged in robust discussions on how to reflect what seemed like an emerging convergence around the need for a new global treaty. While many supported calls for the document to signal to the Assembly that the time has come to establish an intergovernmental negotiating committee to begin talks on a new treaty, others differed. In the end, they agreed to the Chair’s summary, which was hailed as a neutral and factual document, containing a non-exhaustive list of response options to marine litter and microplastics. They annexed the summary to the report of the meeting, which will be presented to delegates at UNEA-5. This meeting concluded the AHEG’s work, with the experts having completed the mandate accorded to them by UNEA.
Event 9 November 2020 - 13 November 2020