Photo courtesy of European Union
story highlights

The agreement titled, ‘Blue Partnership for the Oceans: Towards Better Ocean Governance,’ aims to promote better ocean governance and policy coordination between China and the EU.

The two countries will promote a sustainable blue economy, and advance implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

16 July 2018: The EU and China signed an ocean partnership agreement to improve international governance of the world’s oceans, including through tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and promoting a sustainable blue economy. The two countries also agreed to implement the SDGs, particularly SDG 14 (life below water), and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The EU and China signed the agreement at the 20th Summit between the EU and China, which took place in Beijing, China, on 16 July 2018, as part of a broader statement relating to EU-China engagement. The EU and China have a longstanding cooperation on ocean affairs, including on fisheries.

China and the EU will promote the circular economy within the blue economy through clean technologies and best practices.

The agreement titled, ‘Blue Partnership for the Oceans: Towards Better Ocean Governance,’ aims to promote better ocean governance and policy coordination between the two countries. The partnership agreement outlines future areas of collaboration between the EU and China on: the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the high seas; marine pollution, including marine plastic litter and microplastics; mitigation of and adaptation to climate change impacts on the oceans, including the Arctic ocean; conservation of marine living resources in Antarctica; and fisheries governance and the prevention of IUU fishing. The EU and China agree to cooperate to improve global ocean governance, including for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, their resources and ecosystem services, including to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNLCOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). They will further cooperate on improving ocean literacy, enhancing ocean observation and supporting open science and data.

The two countries will promote a sustainable blue economy and explore possibilities to facilitate closer business-to-business interactions and information exchange. They will promote the circular economy within the blue economy, including through clean technologies and best practices.

The EU and China emphasize their commitment to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, and recognize the risks and effects that climate change, ocean acidification, warming and deoxygenation, and sea level rise pose to ocean ecosystems and their services. They stress the importance of progressing work in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) towards implementation of the IMO strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from ships.

The EU and China intend to coordinate the partnership through high-level dialogues that will take place alternately in the EU and China as well as in a Partnership Forum that will focus on topics addressed under the partnership. [EC Press Release]

related posts