TARA’S ADVOCACY FOR THE OCEAN

© Pierre de Parscau / Fondation Tara Expéditions

Political advocacy in favor of the ocean has been an integral part of the Tara Expeditions Foundation’s missions since 2007. Scientific research on ocean ecosystems enables us to inform environmental policies. In the face of ecological and climate crisis, it is essential that civil society take part in decision-making procedures. The Tara Expeditions Foundation actively participates in ocean governance processes at national and international levels.

Read the document about Tara’s advocacy program

In addition to research and educational outreach conducted since 2003, the Tara Expeditions Foundation provides scientific expertise during multilateral negotiations relating to the High Seas, climate change and reduction of plastic pollution.

How do we act ?

Advocacy or lobbying are one and the same thing: it involves engaging and advising policy makers, providing scientific expertise to inform their decisions, but also convincing them to carry forward an initiative on their own or together with other countries, and implement measures or programs in favor of the Ocean, its protection or its governance.

To strengthen and extend our action, we also build bridges between stakeholders from the civil society, the scientific community and involved institutions by creating or participating in initiatives or taking part in environmental negotiations.

Confronted with the influence of economic lobbies, we believe that research institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) must take their responsibilities by providing accurate and up-to-date information to decision makers.

 

 

- OUR MAIN ADVOCACY ACTIONS -

 

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Observer statut at the United Nations

 

What does this consist of?

In 2015, the Tara Expeditions Foundation was granted special observer status at the United Nations, and a permanent seat at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). We participate actively in the different UN committees and conferences relating to the Ocean and follow the progress of discussions and guidelines. This work addresses the need to strengthen the participation of civil society in environmental decisions.

What is the Foundation’s role?

Participate in the High Seas Treaty Negotiations
In January 2015, UN member States voted unanimously to establish an international treaty on biodiversity management beyond areas under national jurisdiction (EEZ). This treaty, currently under negotiation, addresses in particular issues regarding high seas fisheries, sharing of biological resources, and also the status of scientific data collected offshore.

Follow the implementation of the 14th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) dedicated to the Ocean
In the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, set up during the Rio+20 Conference in 2012, 17 global sustainable development goals were defined by the United Nations (poverty eradication, fight against climate change, access to health care, etc.). Among these objectives, the 14th is dedicated to the sustainable development of the Ocean. The Tara Expeditions Foundation ensures the adequate implementation of concrete actions, corresponding to the still very general UN goals (e.g. « Reduce ocean acidification and fight its effects, in particular by strengthening scientific cooperation at all levels »).

An action?

 

 

The Foundation participated in the Rio+20 conference within the “Blue Pavilion” – devoted to the ocean – and will attend the conference to support the implementation of the 14th Sustainable Development Goal, to be held in June 2017 at the UN headquarters in New York.

 

THE «BEYOND PLASTIC MED» INITIATIVE.

What does it consist of?

The “Beyond Plastic Med” initiative aims to support innovative solutions to reduce upstream plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. It was launched in March 2015 during an international conference in Monaco, by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Tara Expeditions Foundation, Surfrider Foundation Europe and Mava Foundation.

What is the role of the Tara Expeditions Foundation?

Create a network between stakeholders to reduce plastic pollution in the Mediterranean region
Thanks to the Tara Mediterranean expedition (2014), we have developed fundamental knowledge about plastic at sea, built a network of players and acquired field experience on a regional scale. The Foundation’s added value is to enable the private sector, NGOS and the scientific community to collaborate by creating a very diversified network of stakeholders.

Promote initiatives to reduce plastic pollution
Through our actions, we influence civil society and governments to adopt concrete initiatives for reducing plastic pollution in the Mediterranean region,

An action?

 

On June 8, 2016 BeMed launched a call for micro-initiatives aimed at all Mediterranean countries. The funded projects are selected for their innovative nature – whether technological, institutional or related to public awareness and outreach.

Visit the Beyond Plastic Med website

 

 

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The Ocean & Climate Platform

 

What does it consist of?

 

Although a key element of the Earth’s climate machine, the Ocean had been relatively absent from discussions on climate change until recently. Integrating Ocean-related issues and challenges in climate negotiations is a real need. The Ocean & Climate Platform was created on World Oceans Day in June 2014 by a handful of partners, including Tara Expeditions. Today, the Platform consists of more than 80 organizations, including research institutes, NGOS and stakeholders from the civil society and the economic world.

What is the Foundation’s role?

Give the Ocean a voice during the climate discussions
During the COP21, alongside the Platform and other networks, Tara Expeditions gave the Ocean a voice and developed advocacy to acknowledge its major role in the climate system. An important mobilization has enabled us to engage not only decision makers, but also the general public and the media, indispensable “driving belts” for policy making. Ultimately, the Ocean was included in the Paris Agreement in 2015 and was therefore mentioned for the first time in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Follow the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement and « Ocean & Climate » actions
To support the implementation of the various nations’ commitments, the Foundation’s mobilization alongside the Ocean & Climate Platform was pursued during the COP22 held in Marrakech. Our objective is to help develop concrete actions in favor of the Ocean in the member states’ climate goals (INDCs). By 2018, the Foundation will ensure the integration of practical measures dedicated to the Ocean.

Find the Platform’s 9 key proposals:

A citizen action?

In June 2015, Romain Troublé, executive director of the Tara Expedition Foundation, was the first ambassador of the Ocean’s Call for Climate #OceanForClimate. This appeal aimed to mobilize public opinion about the importance of taking the Ocean into account in climate negotiations. Several tens of thousands of signatures were collected.

Visit the Ocean & Climate Platform website

 

 

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The signatories of the “Because the Ocean” declaration on 11/29/2015 at the Tara Pavilion in Paris © Kashfi Halford / Communication Inc.

Because The Ocean

What does it consist of? 

 

One of the major victories for the Ocean during the COP21 was the creation of a working group of countries, entitled “Friends of the Ocean”. First intergovernmental initiative for the ocean and climate, the “Because the Ocean” declaration was launched at the Tara Pavilion on the eve of the COP21 opening. As a result of the success of the Paris climate convention, more than 25 countries have joined the initiative (see the list of signatory countries).

An action?

Today, the Tara Expeditions Foundation is part of the steering committee of the initiative, now supported by the Ocean & Climate Platform. Tara remains fully committed to ensuring the implementation of the promises and programs announced during the COP21.

Read the “Because the Ocean” declaration