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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2024 Ocean Decade Conference

This global event will bring together the Ocean Decade community and partners to celebrate achievements three years after the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
Event 10 April 2024 - 12 April 2024

1st Part of the 29th Annual Session of the International Seabed Authority

Environmental externalities, underwater cultural heritage, test mining, regional environmental management plans, environmental compensation fund, royalties, safety measures… The list goes on. New elements continue to be added to the already complex and interlinked group of elements that need to be agreed on in the negotiations on exploitation regulations for deep-sea mining.
Event 18 March 2024 - 29 March 2024

15th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

The meeting will give Ocean advocates a chance to discuss recent negotiation wins and developments in treaty talks still underway as well as promote solutions that can reconcile the protection of the Ocean with the development of a sustainable blue economy.
Event 18 March 2024

A Wave of Ocean Action in 2023

At the end of 2023, I wrote these words in an article for TIME magazine, “Over the last two years, a positive wave of ocean action has been sweeping around the planet. It is a wave upon which hope can ride with growing confidence. Its momentum is the most powerful opportunity we have to improve humanity’s relationship with the ocean.”
Article

66th Meeting of the GEF Council

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Members will consider a new work program of the GEF Trust Fund under GEF’s eighth replenishment cycle, how to streamline the GEF project cycle, and possible actions to support the new agreement on conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).
Event 5 February 2024 - 9 February 2024

23rd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP 23)

Delegates praised the Convention as an example of how to translate global commitments into regional action. The week’s highlights included the adoption of the new Programme of Work and Budget 2024-2025, and the Portorož Ministerial Declaration, in which Parties commit to a healthy Mediterranean environment.
Event 5 December 2023 - 8 December 2023