Joint press release by the German Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for Environment

Marine Regions Forum discusses solutions for marine protection

200 international experts meeting in Berlin

Nahaufnahme von Wellen im MeerClick to enlarge
Ocean waves
Source: CC Vision

How can we protect marine areas? What role can science play in the effort? How can we fight marine litter? What role can oceans play in realising the global Sustainable Development Goals? Which approaches have proven effective, and which innovative solutions have been implemented in marine regions? Some 200 international experts are seeking the answer to these questions at the Marine Regions Forum starting today in Berlin.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said: "The latest IPPC Report has once again made it clear that climate and marine protection are one and the same thing. There is no time to lose, which is why it is good that the Marine Regions Forum gathers a diverse group of experts to develop and share possible solutions. I hope that we can bring more allies on board in our effort to develop a new UN plastics convention."

Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Environment Agency (UBA), said: "The oceans of the world and their natural capacity to store CO2 and heat provide critical protection against climate change. Only healthy oceans can truly fulfil their function in the climate system. Every form of pollution, such as excessive fertilisation, intensive shipping or marine litter makes the oceans less resilient and therefore more vulnerable to the increasing effects of climate change, including higher temperatures and ocean acidification. At the conference we would like to jointly find solutions and exchange ideas about how to improve our defences against climate change and other forms of pollution of marine regions."

Germany pledged support for more marine protection and to Sustainable Development Goal 14 " Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development" at the 2017 Ocean Conference. The Marine Regions Forum gathers 200 experts from science, civil society and policy-making to discuss effective protective measures and develop new approaches in cooperation in marine protection. The Federal Ministry for Environment and the German Environment Agency, together with the European Commission and the IASS Potsdam are co-hosting the event. IASS Potsdam, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris, and the Think Tank for Sustainability (TMG) are in charge of its organisation and implementation.

Attendees at the Marine Regions Forum 2019 include Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, Environmental State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth, former Federal Minister for the Environment and Founding Director of IASS and TMG Professor Klaus Töpfer, Fisheries Minister of Namibia Bernhard Esau, and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. The Forum outcome will be taken into account in regional and global marine policy making processes, including the 2020 UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon.

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