From June 27 to July 1, the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference that sponsored by the United Nations and co-sponsored by the governments of Kenya and Portugal, was successfully held in Lisbon. The theme of the conference was "Scaling science and innovation-based ocean action for the implementation of Goal 14: assessments, partnerships and solutions", which attracted more than 6,000 representatives from 139 countries, 38 international organizations and specialized agencies, more than 1,000 NGOs, 410 companies and 154 universities. During the conference, plenary meetings, interactive dialogue and various side events were held, and 1,245 countries and organizations submitted 2,076 independent commitments to the conference. The final outcome document "Declaration of the United Nations Ocean Conference 2022-Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility" shows that all countries in the world are aware of the need to strengthen ocean action based on science and innovation to cope with the current ocean emergency.
SEE also sent representatives to attend the meeting with the Chinese delegation, to study closely and participate in the discussion of world ocean governance, and to send out the voice of China's non-governmental ocean protection forces to the world by participating in the official side meeting of "Promoting Blue Partnership and Building a Sustainable Future".
Facing the Crisis, Looking for the Consensus
As the most important international conference in the field of marine sustainable development, the United Nations Ocean Congress discussed the marine protection and sustainable utilization issues that the international community is most concerned about through plenary meetings, interactive dialogues, side events and other links and forms. Among them, marine protection, marine pollution and sustainable utilization of marine resources are the main topics of the United Nations Ocean Conference.
"Recognizing that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time," many participants emphasized the close relationship between marine protection and climate change objectives. Peter Thomson, the UN Special Envoy for Ocean Affairs, said that the oceans is still face a huge crisis. On behalf of the previous generation, he apologized to today's young people for the unresolved ocean crisis, promised to work with them to solve the ocean problems, and called on more youth forces to participate in ocean protection actions. In addition, Mr Thomson urged countries to implement their commitments on time and be monitored, and to work together to meet the "30-by-30" target of having at least 30% of the oceans effectively protected by 2030.
The conference aims to provide a platform for the international community to promote the adoption of innovative and science-based solutions, realize the sustainable management of the ocean, and formulate practical solutions for ocean acidification, marine pollution, illegal fishing and biodiversity loss. During the meeting, all parties had active discussion and reached some consensus：
First of all, in terms of marine protection, it is generally agreed that the topic of this dialogue involves many disciplines, focusing on the close combination of marine protection and climate change action. As an important part of global climate governance, the research and development of blue carbon has been fully valued. How to reduce and solve ocean acidification and deoxidation and promote the protection of the blue carbon ecosystem will directly affect the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 13 and the Framework Convention on Climate Change. On the protection, management, protection and restoration of the blue carbon ecosystem, all parties generally pay attention to the collection and sharing of ecosystem information and data, compilation and implementation of marine spatial planning, providing funds for the realization of Goal 14, guiding social capital to participate in the protection and restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems, and balancing the relationship between resource protection and industrial development departments.
Secondly, on the issue of marine pollution, all parties generally pay attention to biodiversity reduction, marine pollution, marine garbage, microplastics and other issues, emphasizing that abandoned fishing gear accounts for a large part of marine garbage, and putting forward some issues related to solving the above problems, such as land-based pollutants entering the sea, financial support, prevention and control, coordination and cooperation, experience sharing, research and monitoring, technology and infrastructure, and calling for an agreement on marine plastic pollution as soon as possible.
Regarding the sustainable utilization of marine resources, promoting and strengthening the sustainable development of the marine economy, all parties believe that supporting the livelihood of coastal communities and promoting the growth of the blue economy requires targeted support for innovative fields, such as fishery and aquaculture, tourism, energy, shipping and port activities, renewable energy and marine biotechnology, and at the same time, investment in marine scientific research should be emphasized. On the issue of sustainable fisheries, the participants spoke highly of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidy adopted by the WTO, which was regarded as the greatest achievement of international fisheries subsidy negotiations over the past 20 years. At the same time, they attach importance to the capacity building to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and "ghost fishing gear", protecting fishery resources through policies and developing green mariculture.
Besides, in the interaction of international law of the sea, all parties generally pay attention to the balance between the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in ensuring the growth of the marine economy and protecting the marine environment. On the issue of enhancing scientific knowledge and improving the ability of scientific research achievements to transform into marine technology, all parties generally pay attention to the cooperation framework of marine science of the United Nations Decade for Sustainable Development and improving the ability of transforming marine technology.
From Promise to Action
In response to the call of the conference, the Chinese government has made a number of commitments, including the implementation of the master plan for coastal zone protection and utilization, ensuring that the natural shoreline retention rate is not less than 35%, and implementing 31 coastal zone and marine ecosystem protection and restoration projects in the next five years. Gradually increase the supply of marine satellite remote sensing public goods and provide various marine disaster early warning services; Promote the development of emerging industries such as seawater desalination; Continue to assist developing countries, especially small island countries, through the the belt and road initiative Initiative and the Global Development Initiative; Support the establishment of the global blue partnership network and the "blue partnership action" project. "blue Partnership Action" is jointly sponsored by SEE Foundation and Ant Public Welfare Foundation. It aims to promote cooperation among blue partners such as social welfare organizations, caring enterprises, scientific research institutions, international organizations and government agencies of various countries, promoting the implementation of nature-based solutions, and promoting the protection of ecological environment in sustainable utilization of marine resources and the ocean.
Participants focused on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14, driven by science, technology and innovation, and pledged to take specific actions, including：
In terms of marine environmental protection, hundreds of countries, including India, have pledged to protect at least 30% of the earth's area by 2030. Indonesia is committed to expanding marine protected areas to 32.5 million hectares by 2030. Portugal promises to ensure that 100% of the sea areas under its jurisdiction are in a "good environmental state" by 2030, and designate 30% of the sea areas in the country as marine reserves. The Challenge to Protect Our Planet promises to invest at least $ 1 billion to support the establishment and management of marine reserves by 2030. The Global Environment Facility will provide 25 million US dollars for marine protected areas in Colombia.
In the aspect of marine pollution control, Kenya is committed to formulating a national action plan on marine plastic waste. India is committed to the Clean Ocean Campaign. The European Investment Bank will provide 150 million euros for the Caribbean region to improve its climate adaptability, water resources management and solid waste management.
In the aspect of sustainable utilization of marine resources, the meeting focused on the management of deep-sea mining and the development of the blue economy. Palau, Fiji, Samoa, Chile, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands have called for the suspension of deep-sea mining activities. Peru promised to put forward the first moratorium on deep-sea mining in Latin America; France calls for establishing a legal framework to prevent mining on the high seas. Parliamentarians for Global Action launched a global declaration calling for a moratorium on deep-sea mining; Kenya is developing a strategic plan for the blue economy. Sweden and Palau have pledged to use 100% renewable energy by 2040 and 2032 respectively. Indonesia has announced that it would achieve a sustainable blue economy by protecting marine ecosystems and managing fisheries, and plans to issue sovereign blue bonds. And the United States and Norway issued the "Green Shipping Challenge", which promised to achieve decarbonization by 2050. Encourage Singapore shipping companies to carry out carbon accounting and research on low-carbon marine fuels; Developing a network of green corridor for maritime transportation in Chile; Action Alliance for Ocean Risk and Resilience will invest millions of dollars to improve the resilience of coastal communities in the south of the world.
In terms of science and innovation, Sweden has pledged to invest 400,000 USD in the Decade of Marine Science, and the Alliance of Small Island Developing States has issued the Declaration on Strengthening the Marine Science Knowledge, Research Capacity and Marine Technology Transfer in Small Island Developing States; The Latin American Development Bank will invest US$ 1.2 billion to support ocean projects.