Highlights from the 9th Our Ocean Conference

Wrapping up the 9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens, Greece with some remarkable highlights:

1.EU’s €3.5 Billion Commitment

The European Union pledges its largest-ever amount of €3.5 billion to support 40 commitments for ocean protection and sustainability. This significant investment is allocated across various critical categories:

Sustainable Fisheries: Substantial funding is allocated to support sustainable fishing practices in several countries, including Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Poland, and Portugal. This investment aims to enhance the resilience of fisheries and aquaculture industries.

Marine Protected Areas: Significant resources will be devoted to preserving marine biodiversity and marine ecosystems in various regions, such as the Blue Benguela Current, the Maldives, Suriname, and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.

Ocean and Climate Change: Considerable funding is earmarked for ocean observation programs and research initiatives to enhance ocean models for climate predictions.

Sustainable Blue Economies: Funds are allocated to support investments in sustainable blue economy initiatives in Italy, Portugal, and several African countries.

Marine Pollution: Substantial investments will be made to combat marine pollution in countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, and Finland.

Maritime Security: Resources will be directed towards enhancing maritime security and safety in regions such as the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea.

Support to the Mediterranean: Funding will support initiatives aimed at promoting the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Mediterranean region.

Research: Significant funding is committed to research efforts under the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters, aimed at restoring marine ecosystems and fostering a sustainable blue economy.

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2. Port Awards

Celebrating excellence in sustainability, the conference recognizes four ports for their outstanding contributions to the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’ . The Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Ravenna Port, Heraklion Port, and Galataport are commended for their innovative sustainability initiatives, setting a powerful example for sustainable port operations worldwide.

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