Δελτίο Τύπου της Δρος Αυγερινοπούλου για το παγκόσμιο συνέδριο "Our Ocean Conference 2024"
9th Our Ocean Conference to take place in Greece in April, 2024
Official Announcement at COP28
During a momentous side event at the Greek pavilion, the Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, alongside the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Secretary John Kerry, unveiled plans for the 9th International “Our Ocean Conference” that will take place in Greece. Scheduled for April 16th and 17th, 2024, the Conference aims to strengthen the protection of the oceans and the marine environment. Moderator of this discussion was Dr. Dionysia – Theodora Avgerinopoulou, Coordinator of “Our Ocean Conference 2024” and Chair of the Environment Committee of the Hellenic Parliament.
“Our Ocean Conference”, which was first organized in 2014, is an initiative by the U.S. Department of State and the Secretary John Kerry. The 9th Conference (OOC-9) is expected to consider ways of addressing the impacts of climate change, over-fishing and pollution of the seas. Interested states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the academic community and the private sector will be represented in order to make commitments for the protection of the seas. The involvement of youth, as key agents for change, will be a vital element of this Conference, by holding in parallel the Youth Leadership Summit, starting the day before, on the 15th of April.
Within the Conference six (6) Areas of Action will be addressed:
- Marine Protected Areas
- Sustainable blue economy
- Climate-ocean nexus
- Maritime security
- Sustainable fisheries
- Marine pollution
Greece will underscore four horizontal elements cutting across the six areas of action of the Conference:
(i) sustainable tourism in coastal areas and islands,
(ii) green shipping,
(iii) reduction of marine plastic and microplastic pollution,
(iv) the green transition in the Mediterranean,
Prime Minister Mitsotakis shared his aspirations for the Conference, underscoring the need to decarbonize the shipping sector, with Greece playing an instrumental role in this global effort. He, also, underlined the need to protect marine biodiversity and the importance of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), bearing in mind that Greece is a country with an extended coastline of thousand kilometers and hundreds of islands and thus “we have an additional obligation to protect our marine biodiversity”, as he stated. Secretary Kerry, originating from Massachusetts, a coastal state, shared personal experiences that motivated this initiative and his love for the oceans and he stressed the need to establish more green corridors. Additionally, he prioritized achieving green shipping and emphasized the key role of local communities and fishermen in the adaptation response. Dr. Avgerinopoulou, in her address during the event, remarked that “the launch of the “Our Ocean Conference” was an inspiring moment in the history of global environmental governance, overcoming the existing fragmentation of international, regional and national institutions for the oceans and bringing the global ocean community together. Up to now the OOCs have initiated more than 2,160 commitments worth more than 130 billion USD. In the 9th Our Oceans Conference to be held in Greece we expect bold commitments and accelerated ocean action. The outcome of the Conference will have to respond to the level of the ocean ambition that the world needs today. ”
After all, it is Our Ocean, An Ocean of Potential.