World Oceans Day is here, and in celebration of our Oceans, Geneviève Pons takes the opportunity to share her May contributions regarding biodiversity and marine ecosystems as both an Antarctica2020 Champion and member of Mission Starfish 2030.
Webinar “How the EU is leading on the largest act of ocean protection”
Concerning the European Union's leadership in designating new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean, Geneviève Pons stated that securing the largest act of ocean protection in history "is an opportunity not to be missed. It is not only a question of environmental leadership, but also of diplomatic leadership."
Taking such leadership involves coordination efforts along with the support of other countries (United States, Australia and New Zealand). “The European Union must seize this opportunity and take the lead in this coordination effort. With the European Union at its helm, the proponent side will be much stronger together”, she said.
For Geneviève Pons, the capacity of China to show leadership during the COP15 in Kunming (on 11-24 October) “will strongly depend” on its position at the CAMLR Convention which will happen simultaneously. “Their support in the creation of Antarctic MPAs is now a matter of political coherence and credibility. As world leaders are expected to agree on the need to protect at least 30% of the global ocean and land by 2030 in Kunming, protecting the Southern Ocean is itself a key milestone in achieving this 30x30 target globally.”
As regards Russia, by supporting the creation of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, Geneviève Pons said that “Russia’s involvement in MPAs would be consistent with its commitment to multilateralism and peace. It would be a celebration of Russia’s Antarctic legacy.”
"The role of the EU on ocean protection is not only a matter of environmental leadership, but also of diplomatic leadership”
Webinar “A Digital Ocean for a Clean Ocean”
As a member of Mission Starfish 2030, Geneviève Pons pointed out that to tackle pollution and fight the impacts of climate change, “we must also address the general lack of understanding on the importance of the ocean, as well as revamp governance. We have to be very ambitious if we want to progress significantly towards the restoration of our ocean by 2030”. Geneviève Pons also noted the strong desire of citizens to protect the ocean, which is key leverage for success.
She also presented the Digital Twin of the Ocean, a key proposal of Mission Starfish 2030 that will allow all stakeholders, including citizens, to observe, monitor and tackle pollution of our hydrosphere through an interactive platform and digital apps.