One Ocean: France to host international ocean protection summit

It will take place at the end of this year or the beginning of 2022, with an exact location to be confirmed at a later date

4 September 2021
The Calanques National Park in France

President Emmanuel Macron announced the One Ocean summit while visiting the famous Calanques National Park near Marseille (pictured) Pic: Gaspar Janos / Shutterstock

France will host an environmental summit called One Ocean at the end of this year or the start of 2022, President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday (September 3).

“This One Ocean summit will bring scientists, economic actors, regional actors and the United Nations to the table,” Mr Macron said, speaking ahead of a speech at a conference of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the French city of Marseille.

He said the summit will serve "to launch initiatives in terms of research, in terms of international jurisdiction and to complete the international law that will allow us to protect this space". 

This type of event is "effective”, he said, because the key is European and international cooperation. 

“One country alone is not effective, progress must be at least European and on certain major issues, it must be global", “he said.

Separately, a UN Conference on oceans is to be held in 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. 

It had been postponed because of the Covid-19 epidemic.  

The IUCN conference in Marseille

President Macron opened the IUCN in Marseille by stressing the importance of acting quickly.

“We have fallen behind on biodiversity and we must catch up,” he said. 

The conference is running until September 11, with 1,300 member organisations of the IUCN and 160 countries represented. 

Several decisions are expected in order to "put an end to the alarming decline in biodiversity", François Chartier, Greenpeace's ocean campaigner, told France 3. 

For example, emergency solutions for the protection of coral reef fish, mangroves and great apes are to be discussed.

Attendees of the congress will also work on combating soil artificialisation and climate change. 

For the first time this year, the public is invited to attend the conference. 

A total of 128 concrete global recommendations are to be presented at the end of this international meeting. 109 of these have already been voted on by states and NGOs. All of them should contribute to defining the objectives for the protection of biodiversity by 2030. 

Several other environmental events will also take place this year, including the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is scheduled for October, and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), which will take place in Glasgow in November. 

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