Dr. Bev Mackenzie
Head of Intergovernmental Engagement
London, United Kingdom
- (+45) 4436 6881
The UN Ocean Conference sets the tone for understanding international priorities for ocean protection, a barometer of feeling towards industry and environmental priorities, and how shipping fits within the global context.
From highlighting the BIMCO position on underwater radiated noise and conveying the need for harmonised regulation based on sound science – through to demonstrating the work being undertaken to address the plastic footprint of shipping we are committed to representing our members on the international stage.
The 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference saw Heads of State and Governments adopt the “Lisbon Declaration”. It is entitled “Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility” and highlights the need to address the health of the ocean and to make better steps to achieve targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (life below water) where there has been an accepted collective failure to make progress in some areas.
The week-long conference brought together some 6,500 participants — including Heads of State and Government, officials of intergovernmental organisations and representatives of civil society organisations. BIMCO, along with several of our members, was there to highlight the progress made by the shipping industry to tackle issues such as underwater noise, pollution, illegal transportation of waste and greenhouse gas emission
Marine pollution was a major issue of concern during the deliberations at the Conference The political declaration, adopted by 150 countries, stressed that science-based and innovative actions and international cooperation and partnerships were needed to contribute to preventing, reduce and control such pollution. Pollution including nutrient pollution, untreated wastewater, solid waste discharges, hazardous substances, and other emissions from both sea- and land-based sources. Improvement of our understanding of sources, pathways and impacts on marine ecosystems will be key. As well as general statements more focussed mention was made to shipping with pollution from ship wrecks and anthropogenic underwater noise of specific concern.
The declaration also called on international maritime transport to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international maritime transportation, acknowledging the leadership role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and noting the need to strengthen the ambitions of the IMO initial strategy in order to meet the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, while setting clear interim goals.
Leaving no one behind was stressed as well as noting the impacts on Member States of measures should be assessed and taken into account as appropriate before adoption of the measure. And particular attention should be paid to the needs of developing countries, especially small island developing States and least developed countries.
Whilst the declaration is non-binding, the UN Ocean Conference sets the tone for understanding international priorities for ocean protection, a barometer of feeling towards industry and environmental priorities, and how shipping fits within the global context. This UN Ocean Conference saw a major shift change from the first one held in 2017 with shipping really being at front of centre of many discussions and the industry taking a hugely proactive role in the dialogues and discussion- from the plastic content of discarded ropes to the potential for zero emission ships.
At BIMCO we will continue to follow the discussions at Intergovernmental level to be sure that we can provide our members with latest developments and to inform them of emerging science and areas of concern. From highlighting the BIMCO position on underwater radiated noise and conveying the need for harmonised regulation based on sound science – through to demonstrating the work being undertaken to address the plastic footprint of shipping we are committed to representing our members on the international stage.
If you are seeking to understand more about the emerging environmental concerns or just want to know more about how the UN Ocean Conference works and the BIMCO role please contact us.