World Animal Protection and GGGI Luncheon ahead of June UN Ocean Conference.

The UN Ocean Conference (5 to 9 June 2017) seeks to reverse the decline of our ocean and the services which it provides through a collective “Call for Action” as well as the announcement of voluntary commitments during the conference. 

Ahead of the June conference World Animal Protection and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) are holding a lunch-time meeting at the Permanent Mission of Belgium on 17 February 2017 to discuss the issue of ghost fishing gear and its economic, social and environmental impacts on the marine ecosystem. Additionally, we hope to explore options for a multi-stakeholder approach to substantially reduce ghost gear, including through possible voluntary commitments to be announced at the UN Ocean Conference.  All Missions are welcome. 

Ghost Gear represents over 10% of all marine litter in our oceans, and it is therefore crucial that the UN Ocean Conference consider action to achieve a range of Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, target 14.1.

Addressing ghost gear in an integrated manner has been proven to not only protect and sustain the ocean’s economic, social and environmental services, but will also benefit food security by arresting fish stock decline, human health by reducing marine plastics and micro-plastics, and sustainable consumption and production by recycling end-of-life gear. 

The game-changing nature of voluntary commitments and partnerships will be essential to the UN Ocean Conference creating a lasting impact. They galvanize a wide range of actions, complement government-led action and often are implemented through multi-stakeholder initiatives, particularly when they involve cross-border efforts and collaboration.