On October 23rd, Environmental Defense Fund announced that it is joining a partnership to improve environmental outcomes for the ocean through China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The partnership, formally known as the Thematic Partnership on Maritime Community with a Shared Future and Marine Environment Governance, was announced at the Our Ocean Conference in Oslo, Norway by a representative from China’s Ministry of Environment and Ecology (MEE).
The partnership seeks to unleash the potential of a sustainable Maritime Silk Road by encouraging collaboration in marine governance, building capacity for marine environmental stewardship and promoting research and understanding of critical marine conservation issues among countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Other founding members of the partnership include DNV GL, Bloomberg Philanthropies and China’s National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center.
Along with other partnerships that focus on green energy, biodiversity and global climate change, the marine partnership is the newest of 10 sectoral efforts that comprise the BRI International Green Development Coalition, or BRIGC, which seeks to promote the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals through the BRI. The BRIGC includes environment ministries of more than 25 countries, eight intergovernmental organizations and over 60 NGOs and research institutions.
“Addressing threats to the oceans requires not only the efforts of individual countries, but also the concerted efforts of the international community,” said Wang Juying, Director General of National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center, MEE. “This thematic partnership conforms with the goals and principles of BRI International Green Development Coalition, the SDG 14 and the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).”
“We must seize every opportunity to move toward greater ocean health and resilience — and the work of the oceans thematic partnership will be an important element in advancing action toward the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President, Oceans for Environmental Defense Fund.
Another key area of engagement for the partnership will be on marine biodiversity conservation, as nations come together in China in 2020 for the next Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
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