Spain pledges support for protection and sustainable use of the oceans
Spain is participating in the third inter-governmental conference, being held in New York until August 30th to develop the Convention for the protection and sustainable use of the oceans.
The commitment of the 193 UN Member States is to close, by the end of 2020, a text that regulates international waters, which account for more than two thirds of all oceans.
This is the third meeting of the intergovernmental conferen-ce of the four meetings schedul-ed. The two previous meetings were held in September 2018 and in March/April 2019, and the fourth is due to be held in the second half of 2020. The aim is to approve the new convention at the United Nations Assembly at the end of that year.
The issues being discussed in the negotiations include management mechanisms based on geographic zones, including the establishment of marine protection areas such as those that exist in territorial waters of many States, access to marine genetic resources, the creation of capacity and transfer of marine technology, and the environmental impact assess-ment in international waters.
This event takes place at a time in which threats to the sea and oceans are of increasing concern due to pollution and, in particular, pollution caused by plastic and micro-plastic, climate change, the over-exploitation of fishing resources and new technologies that are opening the doors to mining of the ocean beds.
The future convention is particularly important for Spain, with a great maritime and fishing tradition and whose waters host the greatest marine bio-diversity in Europe. Further-more, it is a member of practically all of the interna-tional forums that regulate different marine and maritime aspects.
In relation to the protection of the marine environment, Spain is the second ranked country in the European Union (EU) in terms of marine waters, behind only Portugal, and hosts the greatest marine bio-diversity in Europe, since it is located in three bio-geographic regions with very different characteristics: Mediterra-nean, Atlantic and Macaro-nesian.