The UN Ocean Conference in support of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the protection of the oceans came to a close with the adoption of a ‘Call for Action’ and over 1300 volutary commitments towards ocean conservation. For the first time ever, the UN devoted an entire week to the oceans, raising awareness at the highest political level about the importance of the oceans to human survival, and creating the overwhelming sentiment amongst about 4000 participants of a collective movement for the oceans.

Marine Litter was at the forefront of discussions at the UN Ocean Conference that ran from the 5th to the 9th June at the UN headquarters in New York.  Seas At Risk addressed solutions to the global threat, by co-hosting a side event and submitting a commitment on single use plastics.

In 1992, the Habitats Directive was adopted in order to protect remarkable or vulnerable natural habitats in Europe. Twenty-five years later, the European Commission is stepping up its support to the Directive’s implementation and putting resources on the table to make sure that it effectively delivers on its goals and establishes a coherent network of Natura 2000 protected areas on land and at sea. The EU Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy, adopted in April 2017, aims to boost the contribution of EU’s nature laws towards reaching the EU's biodiversity targets for 2020.