Human activity has left the oceans suffering from pollution, overexploitation, coastal degradation and climate change. Oceans cover 71% of our planet. We all rely on them: for our water, our food, our climate, our air. Nearly half of the World’s population depends directly on the sea for their livelihoods.
Our Ocean, an Ocean for Life on Earth
Oceans are now under severe pressure. Oceans have rightfully been gaining more attention in the last years, of their crucial importance for the future of our planet. They are vital for our life and our climate system. They are an important source for food, jobs and growth.
Marine litter and in particular plastic pollution is an issue of great concern for citizens all over Europe and beyond. The issue of food security is an enormous challenge as the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and the demand for food is expected to rise by 60%. Further challenges remain on the horizon such as climate change, overfishing and illicit activities at sea.
Secure seas and oceans are crucial to Europe’s welfare
As the oceans know no boundaries, keeping them safe, secure, clean and sustainable managed is a matter of global interest. The sust for Sustainable Development and the identification of a stand-alone goal on the oceans requires joint action by the international community at all levels. The EU is fully committed to this Agenda and working with partners to ensure that conservation and sustainable use of the oceans is a priority.
Forests are our planet’s green lung, but oceans are its blue heart. It is now up to all of us to keep this blue heart beating.
Karmenu Vella -EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
The European Parliament will organise, in close cooperation with the European Commission, a High-Level Conference on OCEANS “The Future of the Blue Planet” in the European Parliament, in Brussels, on 19 March 2019.
The High-Level Conference will discuss how to shape global ocean governance, how to ensure a sustainable blue economy and how to achieve healthy, clean seas and oceans by 2030. It will highlight the results of the EU’s efforts in these areas and aim to inspire further action.
After the opening session, the conference will be structured around four themes:
- Shaping global ocean governance for the future
- A Sustainable Blue Economy, reducing pressures on the oceans
- Achieving healthy, clean seas and oceans by 2030