A second anniversary with the Ocean in the spotlight
The preservation of our ocean and waters is among the largest challenges that lie ahead. In our first “blue" publication, we concluded that EU blue governance has reached its limit and must turn to a holistic approach in order to protect and manage the EU's water system, and more broadly, the earth's “hydrosphere”. 2022 will mark the second year in the UN's Decade of the Ocean, and the first six months will see a trilogy of three high-level summits – the One Ocean Summit in Brest, France (February); the 7th Our Ocean Conference in Palau (April); and the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal (June) – which present major opportunities to finally raise the profile of major challenges the ocean is facing.
From 9 to 11 February, Pascal Lamy and myself will be in Brest participating in the One Ocean Summit. We will co-chair two workshops where we will emphasise that to be an inspirational global leader, the European Union must also prove to be exemplary in its own actions. This exemplarity can be achieved through the implementation of the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 (Starfish)’s objectives, which are threefold: restoring, protecting, and decarbonising. Meeting these ambitious objectives requires a revamp of the EU’s ocean governance framework as highlighted in our recent paper, but also a better understanding of our ocean and water ecosystems. Therefore, we will also support the project of creating a European Digital Twin of the Ocean during the summit through artificial and collective intelligence to better mainstream ocean science into action.
Europe Jacques Delors is looking forward to taking advantage of the forthcoming One Ocean Summit to plant the seeds of its future work on the protection of the hydrosphere. This will be done with the objective of addressing key challenges ranging from the revamping of international ocean governance and the decarbonisation of the blue economy, to the establishment of a Digital Twin Ocean, thus working towards the achievement of Mission Ocean’s ambitions.
Geneviève Pons and the EJD Team