One Ocean Summit: Morocco part of 40-member international coalition for protection of marine biodiversity
A coalition bringing together the 27 states of the European Union and 13 other countries, including Morocco, was announced on Friday at the One Ocean Summit, with the aim of achieving an international treaty on the protection of high seas, an area of ecological lawlessness, currently under negotiation.
The announcement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, during the opening of the high-level segment of this international Summit.
This coalition “calls for the adoption this year of an ambitious treaty for the preservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdictions,” said the President of the European Commission. “We are very close but we have to give impetus to conclude it this year”, she insisted.
President Emmanuel Macron said the initiative is supported by Australia, Canada, Chile, Comoros, India, Monaco, Morocco, Norway, Peru, Republic of Congo, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The aim is to conclude these exchanges and move forward to finally have the tools to protect these international waters which are too often an area of ecological lawlessness, underlined the French president.
A treaty on the high seas has been formally negotiated under the aegis of the UN since 2018, but discussions were interrupted by the Covid-19 epidemic. The fourth and theoretically final negotiating session is scheduled for March in New York.
The negotiations cover four areas: the creation of marine protected areas; marine genetic resources and the sharing of their benefits; the carrying out of environmental impact studies; and the capacity building and technology transfer, particularly to developing countries. However, sensitive points remain to be settled.
During a panel entitled “protecting and restoring marine ecosystems and promoting sustainable fishing”, as part of the High-Level Segment of the One Ocean Summit, the Head of Government Aziz Akhannouch, who represented Morocco at this international event, affirmed that the international instrument for the conservation and use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions on the high seas, mentioned by the French President, is fundamental because it “can directly impact countries”.
commitments, call on countries to develop and implement ambitious national action plans, and foster robust engagement of stakeholders to contribute toward the agreement’s objectives while complementing national government contributions. We look forward to partnering with other countries to achieve a successful outcome at UNEA and in the development of such a global agreement, Akhannouch said.