World oceans summit nets $10bn in sustainability pledges

Europe  CCPixabayMartin Str
© CC/Pixabay/Martin Str

More than 400 commitments amounting to $10 billion were made this week at an international summit on saving the oceans, host country Greece has said.

The annual fundraiser, now in its ninth year, is the first such event to address all issues related to oceans.

This year's three-day conference began Monday with delegates from around 120 countries.

The European Union has pledged €3.5 billion to protect the world's oceans and promote sustainability through a series of initiatives.

In Greece, 21 initiatives with a budget of €780 million are underway as part of a structured strategy for the protection of Greek marine biodiversity.

The government also announced the creation of two new national parks, one in the Ionian Sea for marine mammals and turtles, and another in the Aegean Sea for seabirds.

The aim of the conference is to promote and support the idea of the "blue economy", which the World Bank defines as “sustainable use of ocean resources to benefit economies, livelihoods and ocean ecosystem health.”

Reducing plastics

"Concrete initiatives are urgently needed on all major issues such as climate change, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, sustainable blue economy, maritime safety and marine pollution," said Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis.

This year's summit highlights issues of sustainable tourism in coastal and island regions, green maritime transport, reducing plastics and microplastics, and the green transition of the Mediterranean.

Last year's conference, hosted in Panama, saw participants pledge $19 billion toward projects addressing sustainable fishing, pollution, maritime security and protected.

​​​​​(with newswires)