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June 8, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm IST
Biodiversity Means Oceans: Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation and Marine Protected Areas
Co-hosted with the French Embassy to India, ahead of World Ocean Day
One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together
8th June 2021, 14h00 IST (10h30 CET)
If the average global temperature rises by 2°C, tropical coral reefs will disappear, destroying the livelihoods of half a billion people. In addition, marine litter and pollution critically threaten ocean biodiversity. It is estimated that well above 150 million tons of plastics have accumulated in the world’s oceans, while 4.6-12.7 million tons are added every year. At this rate, by 2050 the oceans could contain more plastic by weight than fish. More than half of the oxygen we breathe comes from marine organisms, one quarter of the annual human-induced CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is absorbed by marine waters, and the greatest reservoir of actively cycled carbon on Earth is the ocean (50 times larger than the atmosphere).
As a result of the pressures created by our food system and in particular fishing, incidental catches remain the main pressure for threatened species such as sharks, skates and rays (where 32-53 % of all species are threatened), as well as endangered birds and marine mammals. Pollution in our seas and oceans is also affecting marine biodiversity. New pollutants like marine litter and underwater noise are increasing. Seabirds are found with plastic in their stomachs, with cases of entanglement and ingestion of plastic waste having increased by almost 50% over the past two decades.
Measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources, including of the seabed and its subsoil are therefore essential and solutions exist: The EU has put in place a solid legislative framework which allows for a sustainable use of Europe’s seas, which limits the use of harmful fishing gear, designates marine protected areas and no‑fishing zones, eliminates by-catch, etc.), we are now working towards its implementation. Every year in September, the EU organizes an ocean-activism and awareness-raising campaign – #EUBeachCleanup – featuring events across the globe, to raise the alarm about the impact of marine litter and pollution on biodiversity and the well-being of the seas. Please join us and also lead this blue change!
Event Focus and Objectives
The workshop aims to allow a contact between respective authorities, a better understanding of their priorities as well as a sharing of best practices, as a first step to potential future cooperation. Given the inter-sectorial nature of a Marine Protected Area, the workshop would e.g. tackle the following questions:
- What are the global or regional processes that shape and underpin European and Indian respective priorities on Marine Biodiversity? Is there scope to intensify policy dialogue, and foster stronger alignment between EU and India in those fora? How?
- What does science say about the socio-economic as well as environmental benefits of improving the governance and management of marine/coastal protected areas? Which open questions call for more and better research in the next 5-10 years?
- What have we learned from success stories in European & Indian experiences? What could contribute to further improve Marine Biodiversity Conservation and ensure the sustainable development of the Blue Economy sector?
- The way forward for EU, India and France: next steps to dialogue and mutual learning on improving Ocean Governance, and contributing harmoniously to the rules-based development of sea resources and activities?
To help answer the above questions, the workshop would notably address respective European and Indian priorities on Marine Biodiversity Conservation and MPA nationally and internationally, a presentation of the respective models of governance for an MPA, their scientific activities and the sharing of best practices through a case study. For the first time, the workshop would gather all the main stakeholders in India and Europe in charge of MPAs and hence pave the way for further exchanges on the Blue Economy and Marine Biodiversity Conservation.
Relevant session outputs will be fed into improving the discussion paper, below, in a Chatham House format: participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.