Marine Issues at the G7 Summit | JPI OCEANS

Marine Issues at the G7 Summit


Marine Issues at the G7 Summit

Marine litter and deep sea mining feature as high priorities in the G7 leaders Summit.

The Leader's Declaration of this year's G7 Summit acknowledges the global risks posed by marine litter, particularly plastics, to marine and coastal life, ecosystems and potentially human health. The statement calls for actions and solutions to combat litter, stressing the need to address land and sea based sources and its removal, as well as education, research and outreach.

The G7 also took note of the growing interest in deep-sea mining beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The statement calls on the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to involve relevant stakeholders and develop a clear, effective and transparent code for sustainable deep-sea mining. The participants emphasise a commitment to the precautionary approach to these activities, supporting legislation with environmental impact assessments and scientific research.

Both issues are high priorities within JPI Oceans which is currently conducting two separate Pilot Actions in these areas. The first, Ecological Aspects of Microplastics, has recently launched a call for proposals to increase the knowledge about microplastics in the marine environment. The call, with a virtual common pot of up to € 7.5 million, closed in March 2015 and applications are now being reviewed. The second Pilot Action, Ecological Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining, aims to assess the ecological impacts which could arise from commercial mining activities in the deep-sea. In this action, an international team of researchers have already embarked on the first of a two leg cruise aboard Germany’s newest research vessel SONNE. The results of this Pilot Action will be used to inform policy developments within the ISA.

JPI Oceans is encouraged by the recognition of these two areas by the G7 and the issues they raise. Christian Alecke, representing Germany in the Management Board of JPI Oceans, stated: “We plan to follow up on both themes during the upcoming conference of the G7 science ministers in September.”

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