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6.1 Healthy oceans and protection of marine biodiversity, dolphins and cetaceans

Proposed by:

Countries: Ukraine, Mexico and Sweden

Resolution Title:

Healthy oceans and protection of marine biodiversity, dolphins and cetaceans

Preamble:

  • The world’s oceans are a public trust and as such are our common heritage that we have a responsibility to conserve and hand over to the next generation.
  • The principle of Ecological Wisdom, stated in the Global Greens Charter, calls the Greens to acknowledge that human society depends on the ecological resources of the planet, and must ensure the integrity of ecosystems and preserve biodiversity and the resilience of life supporting systems.
  • Point 5 of the “21 Commitments for the 21st Century” Declaration, indicates that the Greens are committed to respect and preserve biodiversity, including a commitment to campaign at national and international level to protect oceans and their biodiversity.
  • The resolution on “Sustainable management of the world’s oceans, fisheries and marine ecosystems”, approved in Dakar 2012 Congress, contains 14 points in order to respond to the urgent need for efficient global ocean governance.
  • The current situation of the world’s oceans demands more effective actions to ensure their protection and conservation.

Operative Text:

Green Parties and groups belonging to the Global Greens should campaign for the protection and conservation of the oceans, promoting a better coordination of local populations, NGOs, private sector, governments and international authorities, in order to implement the following actions:

MARINE BIODIVERSITY

  1. Declaring at least 10% of coastal and oceanic areas of the world as Marine Protected Areas by 2020, including both national and international waters, in order to protect coral reefs, dolphins, other cetaceans, and marine biodiversity in general. 
  2. Granting legal protection to all coral species, dolphins and cetaceans in the national legislations, including a comprehensive and unconditional ban on collecting, hunting and trapping for any purpose. 
  3. Banning to keep dolphins and cetaceans in captivity for entertainment or any other purposes. 
  4. Acknowledging dolphins and cetaceans as non-human persons with all the rights arising therefrom. 

HEALTHY OCEANS

  1. Protecting the oceans from damages caused by human activities, including: Respecting the precautionary and polluter pays principles; Minimizing the naval activities; Stopping deep sea mining expansion; Increasing the fines and penalties for damages to marine ecosystems.
  2. Making bigger efforts to protect the oceans from pollution, including: Creating a zero-waste circular economy; Preventing marine littering and acoustic pollution; Banning the use of micro plastics in sources where substitutes are available.
  3. Establishing an intergovernmental scientific panel on oceans, and canalizing more funds for ocean research and conservation programs.
  4. Developing an international central registry of oceans commitments, which would provide a transparent basis for tracking the efforts of States and stakeholders to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. 
  5. Respecting the moratorium on exploitation enshrined in the Antarctic Treaty and establishing a moratorium on exploitation of natural resources of the Arctic. 
  6. Developing a unique international system for registering all vessels sailing in international waters, and making it publically available. 

SUSTAINABLE FISEHERIES

  1. Respecting an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach in global fisheries management, so as to rebuild and maintain exploited fish stocks above levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield by the latest at 2020. 
  2. Prioritizing public interests, reduced environmental impacts, and other sustainability criteria in the exploitation of marine resources. This should include respecting the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries. 
  3. Installing a better gender balance in seafood industries. Women in fisheries and processing industry should enjoy fair remuneration and have better access to public support and financial resources. 
  4. Minimizing the impacts of aquaculture on the environment by ensuring sustainable sourcing of feed, avoiding escapes by adopting technical standards and reducing the impact of chemicals and medicine use. 
  5. Ending all kind of harmful subsidies in fisheries, including fuel subsidies and others, which contribute to excess fishing capacity, overfishing and accelerated climate change. 
  6. Promoting regional cooperation between countries for a sustainable and equitable exploitation of migratory species in fisheries, as required by the UN Fish Stocks Agreement of 1994. Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) with increased powers to efficiently enforce management decisions and sanctions should cover all the world’s oceans and all commercially exploited species. 
  7. Considering that allocation of access to fisheries resources within RFMOs must take into account the environmental and social impact, food security needs and developing countries’ aspiration to develop their own fisheries. 
  8. Promoting that all states become parties to the FAO Compliance Agreement which entered into force in 2003 and the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) that came into force in 2016, while encouraging states to also go further and adopt more stringent measures to curb illegal fishing methods. 
  9. Starting an information and consultation process aiming to implement Blue Economy, steered towards rebuilding resilience of coastal communities to restore the productive potential of fisheries, in order to support food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable management of living aquatic resources. 

Background Text:

This serves as a reference material and will not be voted on as part of the Resolution


  • Life on Earth began in the oceans and life will always depend on them. However, human activities on the oceans have reached unsustainable levels. Today the oceans face threats of overexploitation, pollution, declining biodiversity, climate change and acidification. These threats also affect mankind and the entire planet. This year, 2017, we have a unique opportunity to engage in an international process to improve global governance of the oceans. For the first time in history the UN has dedicated one stand-alone goal to conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. It is goal number 14 of the UN 2030 agenda of Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystem, providing food and shelter for one quarter of all ocean species. Major threats to coral reefs include destructive fishing practices, overfishing, careless tourism, pollution, sedimentation, coral mining and climate change, so that roughly one-quarter of coral reefs worldwide are already considered damaged beyond repair. Although several Green Parties around the world have campaigned to protect marine ecosystems, the current numbers on decline and loss of coral reefs demand more effective actions to ensure their protection and conservation. 
  • Protection of dolphins and whales is not only an issue of humanness and environmental significance, but it also has the visible political, economic and moral aspects. The problem reflects, particularly, in a lack of appropriate attention from the governments, irresponsibility of business, and the consequent violation of rights, still present within society. Facing this situation, the Greens need to support the numerous NGOs fighting all over the world for the life and welfare of cetaceans. 

Comments:

  1. This resolution is a merger of proposals from Mexico, Sweden and Ukraine’s Green Parties.
  2. Ukraine’s Green Party suggested not merging their resolution with the others, meaning that all references to dolphins and cetaceans should be removed if they don’t agree with this joint resolution.
  3. Some content of this resolution might be redundant with the resolution on “Sustainable management of the world’s oceans, fisheries and marine ecosystems”, approved in Dakar 2012 Congress, so we suggest a deeper review by the Resolutions Committee.
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