France pledges global action to protect the oceans
Environment – World Oceans Day – Appeal for the “Ocean, common good of humanity”, launched in Monaco – Press communiqué issued by M. Nicolas Hulot, Ministre d’Etat, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, and M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Paris, 8 June 2018
M. Nicolas Hulot, Ministre d’Etat, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, and M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, have learned of the appeal for the “Ocean, common good of humanity”, just launched in Monaco on World Oceans Day. The government expresses its great interest in this civil society initiative, which emphasizes the responsibility of everyone to protect the oceans and their biodiversity.
The spread, diversification and intensification of human uses of the oceans currently represent a confirmed threat to marine biodiversity, particularly in areas outside national jurisdiction. France appreciates the scale of the challenge of protecting marine species and ecosystems in these areas far from the coast, in particular through an international statute protecting the high seas. This statute, and the measures it would enable us to take, would guarantee necessary continuity for the measures already taken at national and European level to protect the waters under our jurisdiction.
In its preamble, the Paris Agreement on the climate encourages all countries to be attentive to the oceans’ integrity as an ecosystem in order to protect its vast and endangered biodiversity. The protection of biodiversity in the high seas is especially important, because they account for 70% of our oceans’ surface. The importance of having a framework for developing tools for managing the high seas, such as marine protected areas and impact studies on activities in international waters, is crucial.
France will play an active role at global level to secure an ambitious agreement to protect the oceans in the framework of the international negotiations beginning at the United Nations in September./.