Let’s Be Nice to the ocean

by | Mar. 22, 2022

In partnership with the Varda Group, and in association with Dona Bertarelli Philanthropy, TBA21-Academy, the Tara Ocean Foundation, MedPAN, the Ocean BornFoundation and the Ocean-Climate Platform, we are publishing today Let's be Nice to the Ocean: Thinking Outside the Box before the Third UN Ocean Conference.

The title is a wink to the next UN Conference on the Ocean, to be held in the city of Nice in June 2025. The ambitious proposal of this work by Rémi Parmentier, a veteran ocean advocate and Director of the Varda Group, in collaboration with Guillermo Ortuño, a specialist in marine ecology and fisheries management, is to make ocean protection the norm rather than the exception

With a foreword by Ambassador Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, President Emmanuel Macron’s Special Envoy for the 3rd UN Conference on the Ocean, the document examines the modalities, opportunities and risks of the paradigm shift that the Protection Principle could present, enshrining the reversal of the burden of proof whereby it is no longer those who seek to protect the ocean, but those who exploit its resources, who must demonstrate the harmlessness of their projects and actions. The protection of the deep sea currently targeted by mining companies, the Southern Ocean victim of climate change and overfishing, and the strengthening and updating of the 50-year-old Mediterranean Sea regional management framework could provide an opportunity to test the protection principle. It is also proposed that, from 2025 onwards, the billions of dollars currently wasted each year in public finances on sectors and activities that damage biodiversity should be redirected towards protection and sustainable management, that the elimination of solid, liquid and aerial wastes that poison the ocean should be planned effectively, that Ministries of the Ocean with resources and power should be set up at national level, and that the governance of transboundary and migratory marine biodiversity should be strengthened.

“We present this new set of innovative ideas to encourage others to join us in challenging the current status quo with more creative and innovative visions and proposals, so that the transformative opportunity represented by the Nice conference is not lost”, explain the authors. To this end, and simultaneously with the publication on our website, together with its partners the Varda Group is launching the digital platform https://letsbenicetotheocean.org/ to invite the various stakeholders to publish their own “ocean-nice” proposals.