France and Costa Rica have jointly bid to host the next UN Oceanic Conference in 2025, French President Emmanuel Macron told around 7,000 diplomats, experts and lawyers at this year’s meeting in Lisbon.
“We should set ambitious targets for biodiversity, especially for the oceans, as was done in Paris in 2015 for the climate,” he said in the plenary session.
“In the coming years we must mobilize the international community.”
The week-long conference, which ended on Friday, was attended by representatives from 140 countries and a number of world leaders, including the presidents of co-hosts Portugal and Kenya.
The second UN meeting dedicated to the oceans, which cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface, is not a forum for negotiating international politics.
But the discussions and initiatives launched here will help set the agenda for two key summits later this year: the COP27-UN climate talks in November, hosted by Egypt, followed by the long-delayed COP15-UN biodiversity talks, which recently moved from China to Canada.
At the heart of the draft COP15 treaty is the determination to designate 30 percent of the world’s land area and oceans as protected areas by 2030.
Currently, less than eight percent of the oceans have protected status.
UN climate talks have not even mentioned the oceans until recently, despite the dire impact of global warming on the oceans and the key role the oceans play in absorbing atmospheric CO2.
“It took 21 COPs for the oceans to move forward on the climate agenda,” Sabine Roux de Mezieux, president of the Fondation de la Mer, told AFP, referring to the annual UN climate summits.
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