Looking at the horizon for 2020, this will be the year of biodiversity and climate. To start off, the Tara Ocean Foundation will invite the general public to join us in Paris! Leaving the maintenance site in Lorient, Tara will sail up the Seine and dock in Paris from March 2 to April 12, to share with the widest audience possible our scientific expeditions and knowledge.
Also planned for 2020 is a major new mission. By the end of the year, the schooner will set sail on new adventures focusing on marine biodiversity, often invisible to the naked eye, yet essential to sustaining life on Earth. Discover the highlights of our commitments to the Ocean for 2020.
2020, the year of the biodiversity
©Vincent Hilaire / Tara Ocean Foundation
2020 UN Ocean Conference: a high-level conference on the ocean
Aboard Tara, the Tara Ocean Foundation will join a major international meeting aiming to preserve the seas and oceans: the second edition of the UN Ocean Conference, will take place in Lisbon (Portugal) from June 2 to 6, 2020. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) and its implementation will be central. New commitments are to be expected (compared with the first edition of June 2017), focusing mainly on science and innovation.
The IUCN World Conservation Congress will be held in Marseille (France) from June 11 to 19, 2020
This world congress brings together a large network of stakeholders (policy makers, civil society, indigenous peoples, academics, economic players, etc.) to preserve nature in the face of the challenges posed by human activities and their impact on the planet. This is a key step in view of the UN Biodiversity Conference, to be held in October 2020. Docked in Marseille during the congress, Tara will support advocacy actions for Marine Protected Areas, especially in Antarctica and the Pacific Ocean, where France plays a key role at the regional level.
COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity – China
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), adopted by 168 countries at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, established an international legal framework for the conservation and use of biodiversity. In an international context increasingly aware of the challenges related to preservation of biodiversity, the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15), scheduled to be held in China in October 2020, will provide an opportunity to redefine ocean protection goals, with a renewed ambition to implement Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). In connection with the activities proposed in Marseille during the World Conservation Congress, Tara will support proposals for effective and well-managed MPAs, based on the best scientific criteria that particularly address the climate challenge.
Fourth session of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ)
The fourth session of the conference will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York in March and early April 2020. In the face of persistent disagreements, a postponement of the end of the negotiations, scheduled for 2020, is to be expected, leading to a delay in the approval of the treaty regulating activities in the high seas. Present as a UN Special Observer, the Tara Ocean Foundation will advocate an ambitious, universal and binding treaty with strong ambitions for international scientific cooperation.
COP26: first assessment meeting 5 years after the Paris Agreement
In keeping with the “Blue COP25” that took place in Madrid in 2019, political recognition of the ocean’s role in climate regulation now requires integration into national action plans. For the Tara Ocean Foundation, ensuring that science is recognized as the basis for informed and appropriate decision-making will remain our main challenge.
Around plastic: implementation of national commitments
Collecting plastic waste with students in St Malo (2019) © Marilou Bourdreux / Tara Ocean Foundation
Following the vote by the National Assembly to ban the sale (and distribution) of single-use plastic packaging in France, the first provisions will be implemented on January 1, 2020, with the prohibition of non-recyclable plastic cups, disposable plates and plastic cotton buds, as well as the use of plastic water bottles in school canteens.
The ultimate goal of banning plastic has been postponed until 2040. It is unrealistic to believe that a single solution exists, immediately applicable to plastics in the environment. The use of plastic, its applications, volume and indispensability, as well as the complex issues related to using alternative materials, all imply that we must act at different levels, by applying solutions throughout the life cycle of plastic – from manufacturing to recycling and reuse – and changing our production and consumer habits.
Romain Troublé, executive director of the Tara Ocean Foundation
Etienne Bourgois, president and co-founder of the Tara Ocean Foundation
André Abreu, Director of International Policies, Tara Ocean Foundation