Organised every 8 June under the auspices of the UNESCO, the “World Oceans Day” was this year dedicated to the importance of the ocean for humanity and the global climate system. Organised around scientific workshops and plenary sessions, it identified ocean-sensitive actions and strategies to mitigate climate change.
At the opening session, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius announced that one whole day of COP21 would be dedicated to oceans.
As a conclusion, a “Call for action” was delivered aiming at mobilizing all UN Member States and at raising the awareness of climate negotiators on the importance of oceans.
The final political segment was closed by European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, who highlighted the work done by the EU on sustainable management of ocean resources, including in the context of tackling climate change, called for contributions to the international public consultation on Ocean Governance launched by the Commission on 4 June and reiterated the EU's commitment to reaching an inclusive, legally binding climate agreement in December.
Commissioner Vella had had before a meeting with DG Bokova to explore possible collaboration in the protection of oceans as well as sustainable “blue economy”, in the framework of a future global ocean governance.