This big conference was also the opportunity to raise awareness on the threats that the oceans are now facing. In total, more than 6 billion euros have been engaged by the participating organizations and many countries announced the creation of marine areas protected on their territories.
Here is an overview of some of the issues raised during the conference, as well as notable commitments.
Fight against pollution
According to a study published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Thus, it is important to take action now and fast. This issue was at the heart of the conference during these two days.
A great number of countries are now committed to take measures in order to limit pollution of plastics that can be found everywhere in oceans and fishes often think of them as food. The Sky company announced that it would remove all single-use plastic products from its operations and supply chains, a great challenge that should inspire others to do the same.
Promoting sustainable fishingWe estimate that today, as much as 90% of the world's fisheries may be over-exploited and one fish out of five is sourced from illegal fishing. While most of the participants agreed on the need to reinforce international legislation on fishing, the issue of monitoring control and surveillance in fishing areas has not yet been answered.
On this subject, Niue Island sets a good example by announcing the creation of a marine protected area representing 40% of its territorial waters: a real record!
At an individual level, for example, it is possible to take action by making sure that the fishes we consume are sourced by local and sustainable fishing. Consuming varied species also encourage fishermen to use diversified fishing techniques and to avoid complete extinction of a species.
Reducing the impacts of climate changeThe ocean plays an incredible role as a global warming regulator. On one hand, it absorbs nearly 25% of all human-produced carbon dioxide emissions. On the other hand, it also stores the extra generated heat, to its detriment. Thus, water becomes more acid and its temperature rises, generating heavy consequences on marine ecosystems.
On this particular point, the European Union committed to create innovation centers to promote the creation of more sustainable means of marine transport. For its part, the BNP Paribas Foundation presented two projects of environmental impact study related to climate change and the services provided by coral reefs (fishing, tourism, coastal protection) and the polar ecosystem.