Tuesday, 07 July 2015
Hello and welcome to our third newsletter of 2015, which is coming to you via our recently redesigned website. We’re very happy with the new look and we hope you will be too.
In what has been a dramatic month of warnings about the perilous state of the global environment, we’ll be looking at last week’s report on the state of Europe’s seas from the European Environment Agency, which will serve as a call to action for all those eager to protect our marine environment. The report examines the damage done by our increasing economic activity in the seas, endangering their health as well as our livelihoods. This conflict between the Blue Growth agenda and the need to maintain the health of our oceans has never been starker, as we heard recently in the Seas At Risk coordinated workshop on the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which you can also read about below.
But there are some rays of hope – this month the Pope’s encyclical on climate change and the environment, and specifically called for a more integral ecology to create a sustainable future for humanity and the planet. EU Commissioner for Environment and Maritime Affairs Karmenu Vella also announced a public consultation on Oceans governance at this year's Blue Week in Lisbon. On the international front, oceans governance was also on the agenda for the recent G7 meeting, and World Oceans Day and European Maritime Day served as a reminder of increasing public awareness of marine issues and the important role oceans play in regulating our environment. Sciaena and Surfers Against Sewage, the latest members of the Seas At Risk network, serve as examples of how civil society is engaging with these issues and helping to create a more sustainable future.
We hope you enjoy this edition.
The Seas At Risk team
The European Environment Agency’s State of Europe’s Seas report released today warns that marine environmental degradation combined with ever increasing exploitation is pushing our seas, and therefore also our planetary ecosystems, to the brink of collapse.
In an unprecedented encyclical Laudato Si (Praise Be To You) on the environment and climate change, the Pope has called “to move forward in a bold cultural revolution”, proposing an ‘integral ecology’ to reinstate ethics and values in economy, politics and society as a whole.
Germany - On World Oceans Day the leaders of the G7 nations concluded their two day summit with a declaration that includes pledges to support global greenhouse gas emission reductions of 60-70%, tackle marine litter and encourage better governance for deep-sea mining.
Brussels – 8th June is World Oceans Day, a global day of reminder and celebration of the unique and delicate ecosystems that cover over 70% of our globe. The theme of this year’s Ocean Day is 'Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet'.
Brussels - EU Countries are taking a business–as-usual approach to managing their marine environment, and are therefore bound to fail to meet the good environmental status objective that the EU had established for 2020.
London - Regrettably the IMO decided today that business as usual is more important than agreeing that international shipping must make its fair contribution to combating climate change.
Piraeus - This year’s European Maritime Day is taking place at the port of Piraeus in Greece on 28-29th May, and will be focused on the theme of ports and coasts as gateways to growth.
Seas At Risk has welcomed two new member organisations, Portuguese Sciaena and UK-based Surfers Against Sewage at its recent Annual General Meeting in Lisbon. With the acceptance of these two latest additions, the Seas At Risk network now includes 28 members across 15 European countries.
An EU level 50% marine litter reduction target for 2020, widely accepted as both necessary and feasible, must be coupled with affordable measures to ensure its success. Retorna have been working over the last five years to show how a Deposit and Return System (DRS) for drinks containers is one of the best tools to help achieve this goal.