Brussels, 20 June 2018 – To address the threats of pollution, marine litter and overfishing, UN Environment and the European Commission today adopted the ‘2018 Oceans roadmap 2.0’, an agreement to support the conservation of marine biodiversity and ecosystems and keep our oceans healthy, productive and resilient.
The Roadmap 2.0 on Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans sees a strengthened EC-UN Environment Partnership ahead of the ‘Our Ocean Conference’ in Bali in October 2018.
The European Commission has been a great partner in our quest toward healthier oceans and the protection of our global marine ecosystems,” Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment said. “It takes bold commitments from governments, business and individuals to really tackle the root causes of marine pollution. The European Commission is taking these big, powerful steps in the direction of cleaner seas.”
On 28 May, the European Commission proposed new EU-wide rules to target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on member states’ beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.
By adopting the new roadmap, the European Commission and UN Environment reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the world’s oceans and seas by:
- Addressing land-based sources to combat marine pollution. A staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s ocean every year.
- Working through existing governance structures to share best practices and lessons learned.
- Supporting healthy marine and coastal ecosystems, which can help strengthen capacity for sustainable fisheries.
The 2017 Our Oceans conference was spearheaded by the European Commission and gathered unprecedented commitments from governments, international originations, civil society and private sector to protect our ocean.
“These two years have been increasingly fruitful for the UNEP and European Commission. Some key environmental issues – the Circular Economy, Ocean Governance, Pollution – have developed significantly both in the EU and globally. The 2018 Roadmap on Healthy and Productive Oceans and Seas will further deepen our cooperation and our ongoing success.”
Circular on plastics
The Single Use Plastics Directive proposal is an integral part of the wider approach announced in the EU Plastics Strategy and an important element of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. It builds on the successful reduction in consumption of single-use plastic carrier bags brought about by EU legislation in 2015, and on the newly revised EU legislation on waste, which includes targets for the recycling of plastics.
Given the broad range of possible actions to curb single-use plastics and their mixed impact, UN Environment has drawn up a 10-step roadmap for governments that are looking to adopt similar measures or improve on current ones.