On 12 November, an Oceans Day was organized at COP 22 by the Government of Morocco and several international organizations and platforms, among others, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Ocean Forum, the Ocean and Climate Platform, the IOC-UNESCO, and the World Bank. The event discussed the requirements for the implementation of the Paris Agreement (which came into force on 4 November), including political and policy support in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting stressed the need to build mechanisms connecting the oceans, coasts, and climate initiatives with national actions and plans. The Roadmap for Global Climate Action championed by France and Morocco was presented, promoting a common approach between the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs, and the need for transparency. Financial support and capacity development are required to enable nations to fulfil their NDCs, this concerns notably Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African states.
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella reminded the meeting in his opening speech that ‘oceans are the unsung heroes of our planet’s climate’. Commissioner Vella stressed the European Union’s commitment to achieving the objectives of the UN Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. Commissioner also presented the newly released EU Communication on International Ocean Governance, and announced that the European Union will be holding the international Our Ocean conference (launched by John Kerry in 2014) in Malta on 5-6 October 2017.
Oceans Days at COP are bringing together high-level decision and policy-makers with eminent scientists to discuss the importance of the ocean – both regulating the Earth’s climate and suffering strongly from the effects of climate change. EuroGOOS participation in the Oceans Days at COP21 in Paris is outlined here.