Last week, on June 20th, the European Commission and the UN Environment published their Oceans Roadmap 2.0 to deepen their work towards healthy, productive and resilient oceans. Following the first roadmap signed in December 2016, and following the UN Ocean Conference in June 2017, and the Our Ocean Conference in October 2017, the roadmap presented today has specific objectives and milestones addressing, in particular, the threats of pollution and marine litter.
In the new roadmap, that aims to facilitate the implementation of the ocean-related targets in Agenda 2030, the European Commission and UN Environment reaffirmed their commitment to protect the world's oceans and seas through four strategic objectives:
More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year! And we are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. The European Commission proposed EU-wide rules for the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas. You can check the factsheet infographic of the measures here.
However, the joint input in the roadmap will bring new milestones in the topic!
UN Environment and the European Commission are developing guidelines for the ocean-related regional organisations, like the regional seas programmes to review and follow-up the Sustainable Development Goals. In this effort, the aim of the objective is to assist the member countries and parties to the regional seas programmes/conventions in setting clear and measurable objectives and indicators.
The objective of this strategic cooperation area is to create capacity for conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystems, which can, in turn, contribute to sustainable fisheries. The topics of cooperation within this objective may include, but not necessarily limited to: networks of the marine protected areas and their managers, coral reefs and other ecosystems affected by climate change, blue carbon and ecosystems and conservation financing.
The Commission and UNEP highlighted the need to move towards cross-sectoral cooperation and policy coherence in order to effectively implement the relevant Sustainable Development Goals in a synergistic manner.
They are aiming at enhancing the effectiveness of decision making and implementation of legal instruments and action plans in order to start a cross-sectoral cooperation effort. Working through existing governance structures such as the Regional Seas Conventions and the Regional Fisheries bodies and other relevant organisations to share best practices and lessons learnt is on the look.