The Global Ocean Commission (GOC) welcomed the strong position on marine security and the protection of the marine environment expressed in the G7 Leaders’ Declaration and related Action Plan.
GOC commends G7 leadership for highlighting the health and governance of the ocean as priority issues. GOC hopes that the G7 countries follow up from on this Declaration and lead accelerated action to reverse the current cycle of ocean decline.
Regenerating and protecting the marine environment is vital to shifting the world onto a sustainable path, which is why the Commission fully supports the G7’s concrete commitments to tackling marine litter. GOC also notes the G7 pledge to promote a transparent, precautionary approach to deep sea mining. Like the new G7 Action Plan to Combat Marine Litter, the Global Ocean Commission stressed the growing problem of plastic pollution in its 2014 report and has been calling for coordinated, targeted action to eliminate plastics entering the ocean. GOC said it is ready to extend assistance or support to the G7 as they implement their important Action Plan.
It is also very encouraging that climate change is a major focus of the G7 Leaders’ Declaration. The Global Ocean Commission welcomes the leaders’ stated determination to achieve an ambitious outcome at the Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. GOC believes, however, that the G7 should work to highlight the strong links between ocean health and climate change which are not acknowledged in the Declaration. There is also no mention of the ocean in the climate policy initiative outlined in the Annex to the Declaration. The ocean is protecting humanity from the full impacts of climate change, and in so doing is being subjected to acidification, warming and biodiversity loss that threatens us all. It is vital that the G7 recognizes that protecting marine resources and combating climate change are inseparable challenges. Action to boost ocean resilience to climate change must be an integral component of any global climate strategy.
2015 is a landmark year for shaping the next era of sustainable development cooperation, and this is reflected in the G7 Leaders’ Declaration support for the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be launched at the UN in September. The Global Ocean Commission is engaged with this process, and joined forces with others to successfully call for a stand-alone UN Sustainable Development Goal dedicated to the ocean. GOC also stressed the fundamental role that the management of marine resources plays in the global fight against poverty and hunger. The currently inequitable, unsustainable exploitation of fish stocks, and the scourge of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, are undermining the livelihoods and food security of millions of vulnerable people in coastal and island communities. Action to preserve fish stocks as a vital source of protein, should include the elimination of harmful subsidies that drive overfishing, and coordinated interventions to close seas, ports and markets to IUU fishing, as proposed by the Global Ocean Commission’s 2014 report.
You may view G7 Leaders’ Declaration and related Action Plan by clicking below:
Source: Global Ocean Commission
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