The UN Environment Programme and the European Commission agreed to a ‘Roadmap on Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans'.
Through the Roadmap, the European Commission and UNEP reaffirm their commitment to addressing marine pollution, working through regional governance structures, supporting healthy marine ecosystems and implementing the SDGs.
20 June 2018: Building on past collaboration, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and the European Commission have agreed to a ‘Roadmap on Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans.’ The primary goal of the 2018 Roadmap is to “create enabling conditions for and support the UN Member States in their effort to achieve ocean-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The partnership is based on four strategic objectives. They include setting objectives and related indicators for ocean-related SDGs; reinforcing regional ocean governance to achieve healthy, productive and resilient oceans; supporting healthy marine and coastal ecosystems; and addressing land-based sources to combat marine pollution.
The Roadmap presents milestones under each of the objectives. Milestones include, inter alia: delivery of a regional seas indicators manual in conjunction with the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) in 2019; a joint commitment and event at the 2018 Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia; support to regional seas conventions; and various activities addressing marine plastic pollution.
On plastic pollution, the announcement of the 2018 Roadmap comes on the heels of the European Commission’s proposal to ban nearly all single-use plastics in Europe, a move meant to tackle marine plastic pollution announced in conjunction with World Environment Day. Also on this issue, UNEP has released a publication titled ‘Single-use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability’ meant to help other policymakers considering regulating the production and use of single-use plastics. [United Nations Environment Programme-European Commission 2018 Roadmap on Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans] [European Commission Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on World Environment Day] [Publication: Single-use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability]