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Healthy Oceans for Sustainable Development

  • Proposed by: Miljöpartiet de gröna (Sweden)
  • Adopted by the 4th Global Greens Congress, Liverpool 2017

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.

Responding to the international process to improve global governance of the oceans, the Global Greens demand:

  1. That the UN develops a 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);

  2. That an intergovernmental scientific panel on oceans is established by the UN with the task of providing the world with an objective, scientific review of the state of oceans and marine ecosystems;

  3. That an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach is respected 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. Despite the world’s commitment to curb overfishing by 2015, made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, more than a third of the world’s fish stocks are still overfished;

  4. That at least 10% of coastal and marine areas shall be established as Marine Protected Areas by 2020;

  5. That the moratorium on exploitation of Antarctic resources as enshrined in the Antarctic Treaty, is respected and a moratorium on exploitation of oil, gas and fish in previously unexploited areas of the Arctic is established;

  6. That the right to exploit marine resources should be allocated according to criteria ensuring that fishing contributes as far as possible to the public interest. Marine resources are a public good, not a private resource. The right to fish should be based on environmental, social and economic criteria. Priority should be given to fishing techniques with reduced environmental impact, less consumption of costly, polluting fuel and fisheries that contribute to jobs in local coastal communities;

  7. That states respect the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries published in 2014. The guidelines aim to improve the equitable development and socio-economic condition of small-scale fishing communities alongside sustainable and responsible management of fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication;

  8. That a better gender balance in seafood industries must be installed. Women in fisheries and processing industry should enjoy fair remuneration and have better access to public support and financial resources;

  9. That impacts of aquaculture on the environment must be minimised by ensuring sustainable sourcing of feed, avoiding escapes by adopting technical standards and reducing the impact of chemicals and medicine use;

  10. That all kinds of harmful subsidies in fisheries are ended, including fuel subsidies and others which contribute to excess fishing capacity, overfishing and accelerated climate change;

  11. That states cooperate regionally in fisheries management for a sustainable and equitable exploitation of migratory species, especially regarding scientific stock assessments, monitoring, surveillance and control of fishing activities as required by the UN Fish Stocks Agreement of 1994. Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) with increased powers to efficiently enforce management decisions and sanctions should cover all the world’s oceans and all commercially exploited species;

  12. 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;

  13. That a unique international system for registering all vessels sailing in international waters is developed and made publically available. Transparency is key to an efficient governance of our oceans;

  14. 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;

  15. That the Blue Economy is 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. Blue Economy must contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal number 14 on oceans and marine resources;

  16. That before any activities of the Blue economy sectors are adopted, an information and  consultation process according to the rules of the Aarhus convention shall take place;

  17. That the precautionary and polluter pays principles shall apply to Blue Economy sectors;

  18. That a zero-waste circular economy based on renewable resources is adopted, in order to avoid reliance on deep-sea mining and to prevent marine litter;

  19. That global measures are taken to halt the escalating problem of micro plastics in the oceans, such as a global mapping of sources to micro plastics and immediate global bans for use of micro plastics in already known sources, such as micro plastics in cosmetic rinse off products.


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