Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

27 May 2022

G7 Ocean Deal

We understand a clean, healthy and productive ocean with resilient marine ecosystems is essential for all life on earth. The ocean’s ecological functions are indispensable for our joint efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, halt and reverse biodiversity loss, ensure food and nutrition security and foster sustainable and resilient livelihoods for coastal populations worldwide. We must therefore stop and reverse the overexploitation of natural resources and degradation of the marine environment, combat the severe level of pollution and the accelerating effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, which are exacerbating cumulative pressures on the ocean.

We note with consternation that the respective ocean related commitments made under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and relevant UNEA resolutions as well as relevant commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity are nowhere near sufficiently implemented yet. To limit the catastrophic impacts of climate change on the ocean, it is imperative that all countries align their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement with a 1.5-degree limit on global average temperature rise and urgently take action based on the latest available science, including the special report of the IPCC on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

We remain committed to leading the global effort on the protection, conservation, restoration, and sustainable and equitable use of the global ocean through:

1. Facilitating international ocean governance

We emphasise the universal and unified character of the UNCLOS, and reaffirm that the Convention sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the ocean and seas must be carried out. On that basis, we acknowledge the importance of an enhanced global ocean governance that is built on the framework established under the UNCLOS, existing regional regimes and could be advanced through new multilateral instruments.

  • We call for the conclusion of the negotiations for an ambitious, effective, inclusive, fair, balanced and future-proofed international legally binding instrument under the UNCLOS to ensure the effective conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Treaty) in 2022, which will also aid the implementation of new marine targets, as a major contribution to our commitment to conserve or protect at least 30 % of the global ocean by 2030.
  • We commit to strengthening the work of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans for the conservation, protection and sustainable use of the marine and coastal environment.
  • We fully support the commitment of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to establish a representative system of MPAs in the Convention area as soon as possible. This should be based on the best available scientific evidence as well as on the proposals to establish MPAs in the Weddell Sea, East Antarctica and the region around the Western Antarctic Peninsula.
  • We are ready to do our utmost to end plastic pollution worldwide. We laud the UNEA 5.2 resolution End Plastic Pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument and are committed to the rapid progression of negotiations initiated under that resolution with the aim of their completion by the end of 2024. We underline that a comprehensive approach is required that addresses the lifecycle of plastics and acknowledges that technical and financial resources are needed to support such an instrument. We emphasise that the cost of environmental damage has been growing tremendously and will continue to grow without intensified and coordinated action.
  • We will continue to actively engage in the development of the regulations for exploitation of deep seabed minerals under the International Seabed Authority to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment from the harmful effect of activities in the Area, as required under the UNCLOS. We will continue facilitating the enhancement of knowledge on the deep sea, its unique ecosystems and the impacts of possible deep-sea mining. We affirm taking a precautionary approach to potential mining of marine minerals in the Area. A robust knowledge basis on the deep sea marine environment and on the risks and potential impacts of deep sea mining operations, that is able to demonstrate the environment is not seriously harmed, is critical for considering our consent in the ISA council for any future mining permits.
  • We commit to strengthen global efforts to achieve zero emissions from international shipping by 2050 at the latest. We pledge to work at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) towards such a goal, including the development and adoption of ambitious Paris compatible medium and long-term goals and measures for 2030 and 2040 to ensure an adequate trajectory.
  • We commit to actively supporting effective ecosystem-based approaches to regional management of fisheries resources and affirm that transparent, adaptive, equitable, sustainable and science-based management of living marine resources is critical for the conservation of marine biodiversity and the socio-economic welfare of Indigenous Peoples and coastal communities.We as the G7 will support and further contribute to the development of robust and successful ocean governance. Therefore, we will continue to highlight ocean issues in the context of the G7.

Delivering on concrete ocean action within the G7 and beyond

We are determined to boost global ocean conservation and protection efforts with immediate bold action in our own coastal and marine areas and through increased support for our partner countries:

  • We will increase our efforts nationally to conserve or protect at least 30 % of our own coastal and marine areas by 2030 through ecologically representative, well-connected networks of effectively and equitably managed MPAs and OECMs. This commitment could include highly and fully protected MPAs in our own coastal and marine areas, as appropriate and respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as reflected in relevant national law and international instruments such as UNDRIP.
  • We pledge to contribute with national and international efforts to conserve, protect and restore coastal and marine ecosystems. We aim for better funding for effective approaches to address these issues, including marine Nature-based Solutions that deliver for people, biodiversity and climate whilst respecting their strong social and environmental safeguards within the G7 and beyond.
  • Rather than waiting for an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution and without prejudice to ongoing negotiations, we each commit to, without delay, taking ambitious actions that have environmental and socio-economic benefits along the lifecycle of plastics, and we encourage and support partner countries to do the same. Our actions could include, as appropriate: addressing single-use plastics, non-recyclable plastics as well as plastics with harmful additives through measures such as phasing out when possible and reducing their production and consumption; applying tools to internalise attributable costs of plastic pollution; and addressing the sources, pathways and impacts of microplastics, as well as promoting environmentally sound waste management. In so doing, we will also foster robust engagement and involvement of stakeholders. Additionally, we commit to supporting efforts to improve transparency and traceability throughout the global plastic value chains. Advancing our efforts against marine litter, we will continue the work on the prevention, mitigation and recovery of ghost fishing gear by measures like marking and reporting.
  • We renew the commitment to ending illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through strengthened international and multilateral cooperation, including promoting universal ratification and implementation of the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures, increased transparency and traceability, information sharing and enforcement, as well as stronger monitoring, control and surveillance. We will undertake every effort in the World Trade Organization to successfully conclude the fisheries subsidies negotiations with a meaningful agreement as soon as possible on comprehensive and effective disciplines that eliminate subsidies that contribute to IUU fishing and to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.
  • Deeply concerned about the lasting financing gap for SDG 14, we are determined to close it. We will work towards increasing investments from all sources to ensure swift progress on our goals and commitments, highlighting the important role of national and international biodiversity, climate and development finance as a major source of finance for the protection and sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems that needs to be strengthened.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to supporting the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. We highlight our commitment to engage through the G7 Ocean Decade Navigation Plan as a framework for G7 collaboration and to advance the collective work on ocean science, ocean observation, assessment of ocean status and ocean action throughout this critical decade. We also reaffirm our commitment to the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative (FSOI) to address the challenge of strengthening and sustaining ocean observations through the coordinated actions during the Ocean Decade and beyond. Building on G7 Leaders’ commitment under the G7 2030 Nature Compact to further our sustainable relationship with the ocean, we will also continue to advance our knowledge of the ocean-climate nexus.

The implementation of this Ocean Deal will support the ocean action urgently needed to live up to our commitments, raise ambition and help to build consensus for ongoing international negotiations on ocean governance. We identify the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, the fifth Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on a BBNJ instrument, the first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meeting on plastic pollution, the dialogue on ocean and climate change at SBSTA 56 of the UNFCCC and the CBD COP 15.2 as crucial stepping stones this year to deliver on our commitments and drive future action. Building on former G7 initiatives and achievements, the G7 Ocean Deal will lay the groundwork for further G7 collaboration in this critical decade.

Source – German G7 Presidency