Sweden has become the newest member of the UK’s Global Ocean Alliance, which looks to help drive urgent action towards the 30by30 target, which would safeguard 30% of the ocean by 2030 and so helping to protect marine wildlife.
“Sweden together with Fiji, hosted the first UN ocean conference in 2017, and we firmly believe we need more international cooperation and substantially increased ambitions to help our ocean survive under the increasing pressures of overfishing, pollution and climate change,” said Swedish Minister for Environment and Climate, Isabella Lövin. “We look forward to working together with the UK to see the 30by30 target reflected within the Convention for Biological Diversity and ensuring that the current negotiations to establish a new Treaty to protect biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction can deliver this outcome.”
Sweden was officially welcomed to the Alliance by the UK’s International Environment Minister, Zac Goldsmith, during the WWF ‘Blue Road to Glasgow’ ocean conference (February 19th). Speaking at the event ahead of COP26, which will take place in Glasgow later this year, Goldsmith set out the UK’s ambition to better protect the ocean through this global alliance and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to rising ocean temperatures.
“We cannot win the fight against climate change without restoring our ocean. Yet we’re overfishing, polluting our waters and destroying vital marine habitats,” said Katie White, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns for WWF. “We applaud the Government’s commitment to global ocean leadership today, which is a good first step on the road to a truly world-leading UK plan for ocean recovery.”
Rising ocean temperatures, acidification, deoxygenation, habitat loss, mass overfishing and man-made pollution are devastating the world’s marine habitats. The international Global Ocean Alliance coalition aims to tackle these issues and safeguard at least 30% of the global ocean in Marine Protected Areas by 2030.
“I’m grateful to WWF for hosting this important discussion as we advance ocean action ahead of COP26. We are on track to have more than half of UK waters protected by 2020 – and as custodians of the fifth largest marine estate in the world, it’s right that we continue to lead the way on this issue,” said Goldsmith. “But we cannot act alone. That’s why I am delighted to welcome Sweden as the latest country to join our 30by30 coalition, and I encourage every nation to join us. We will continue to call for more countries to protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030 so that we can safeguard the ocean for generations to come.”
The hope is that the 30by30 marine protection target will be agreed upon by the world’s governments as part of a new global biodiversity framework at the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties in October 2020. The current target is set at a pitiful 10%. Countries that have signed up to the Global Ocean Alliance so far include Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Belgium, Portugal, Seychelles, Sweden, Belize, Costa Rica, Finland, Palau and Vanuatu.
Photograph by Olga Tsai.
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