On the eve of the official opening of COP21, government representatives and civil society attended Because the Ocean, a high-level event at the Climate-Ocean Tara Pavilion.
Next week, as the world is hoping for a strong climate agreement, the Ocean, a vital element in the equation is often overlooked.
Because the ocean is the single most important driver of our climate and Earth systems, responsible for half the oxygen we breathe; it has been silently shielding us from far more intense and accelerated impacts of climate change by absorbing 90% of the excess heat and 25% of the carbon we produce.
This evening, 11 countries signed the “Because the Ocean” declaration, which calls for:
1) A special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the ocean,
2) A UN conference on Ocean and Seas to establish a regular review and benchmarking of SDG 14, the Ocean Sustainable Development Goal, and
3) The implementation of a working group under the UNFCCC which aims to develop an ocean action plan.
They signed the declaration:
• Environment Minister, France, Ségolène Royal,
• SAS Prince Albert II de Monaco,
• Environment Minister, Canada, Catherine McKenna,
• Kiribati President, Anote Tong,
• Palau Président, Tommy Remengesau,
• Sweden Cooperation and Development Minister, Isabella Lövin,
• Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji,
• Foreign Affairs Minister from Chili, Heraldo Muñoz,
• Minister of Regional Planning, Infrastructure and Integration, Aruba, Oslin B. Sevinger,
• Director General, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, Mexico, Dra. Amparo Martínez Arroyo,
• Deputy Permanent Representative, New Zealand Delegation to the OECD, Paris, Rebekah Riley
In a private ceremony in Le Bourget, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has welcomed signatures of five more country representatives:
• Hakima El Haite, Minister of Environment, Morocco
• Ralava Beboarimisa, Minister for Environment, Seas and Forests, Madagascar
• Dr. Hans Hoogeveen, Vice-Minister of Agriculture, The Netherlands
• Valvanera Ulargui, Climate Change Office Director, Spain
At a third and final private signature ceremony hosted by the Chilean delegation, seven more countries have endorsed the Because the Ocean declaration:
• Edgar Gutiérrez, Minister of Environment, Costa Rica
• Pablo Viera, Secretary of State for Environment, Colombia
• Didier Dogley, Minister of Environment, Seychelles
• Barros Bacar Banjai, Secretary of State for Environment, Guinea Bissau
• Mariline Diara, Director for Environment, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal
• Zoila Gonzalez de Gutierrez, Vice Minister for Environment, Dominican Republic
• Kelly Pearce, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia
We are happy to report that along the COP21 the #BecausetheOcean group has grown to 22 countries.
The “Because the Ocean” initiative was born from six partner organisations:
• The Government of Chile,
• The Government of France,
• The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation,
• The Policy research Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDRRI)
• The French ocean organisation Tara Expeditions
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