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UN Oceans Conference 2022

  • 02 Jul 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: UN Oceans Conference 2022, Ocean Ecosystem, World Ocean Day, Decade of Ocean, Climate Change

For Mains: Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Government Policies & Interventions, Significance of the Oceans, Initiatives to Protect the Ocean

Why in News?

Recently, the UN (United Nations) Ocean Conference 2022 was held to ensure global cooperation towards protection and sustenance of the Ocean ecosystem of the world.

  • The conference was co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal.
  • Minister of Earth Sciences led the Indian delegation at UN Ocean Conference. India promised to provide science and innovation-based solutions for the implementation of Goal 14 through partnerships and environmentally friendly.
  • The UN Ocean conference 2022 is aligned to SDG (Sustainable Develpment Goals) 14 'life below water' and stresses on the critical need for scientific knowledge and marine technology to build ocean resilience.

What are the Key Agenda of the Conference?

  • Moratorium on Deep Sea Mining:
    • Push for a moratorium on deep-sea mining of rare metals needed for a boom electric vehicle battery construction.
    • The digging and gauging of the ocean floor by machines can alter or destroy deep-sea habitats. 
  • Carbon Sequestration:
    • Focus on carbon sequestration to boost the ocean's capacity to soak up CO2, by either enhancing natural sinks such as mangroves or through geoengineering schemes.
  • Blue Deal:
    • A “Blue Deal” was promoted to enable the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth.
    • It includes global trade, investment and innovation to create a sustainable and resilient ocean economy.
    • Focus on blue food to ensure marine harvests from all sources are sustainable and socially responsible.
  • High Seas are Unregulated:
    • No comprehensive legal framework covers the high seas. Oceans cover some 70% of the earth’s surface and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people.
    • Some activists refer to them as the largest unregulated area on the planet.
  • Threat to Ocean:

What are the Initiatives to Ensure Sustainable Ocean Ecosystem?

  • Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development:
    • The UN has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework.
  • World Oceans Day:
    • 8th June is World Oceans Day, the United Nations day for celebrating the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspiring action to protect the ocean and sustainably use marine resources.
  • Marine Protected Areas:
    • In general terms, a Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a marine area that provides protection for all or part of the natural resources it contains.
  • GloLitter Partnerships Project:
  • India- Norway Ocean Dialogue:
    • In 2019, the Indian and Norwegian governments agreed to work more closely on oceans by signing a MoU and establishing the India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
  • India’s Deep Ocean Mission:
    • it is a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
  • India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI):
    • It is an open, non-treaty based initiative for countries to work together for cooperative and collaborative solutions to common challenges in the region.

Way Forward

  • The post Covid-19 economy should prioritise sustainability and resilience in ocean-based value chains. The Covid-19 pandemic unevenly impacted ocean sectors such as marine fisheries, marine and coastal tourism and maritime transport.
  • Expanding digitisation efforts to lower costs for business in developing countries, setting up a blue bank for investments, and improving regulations of blue finance.
  • All of these suggestions can be seen as a call for a Blue New Deal, as sister to the Green New Deal already gaining political support and traction around the world.

Source: TH

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