A world conference on the oceans culminated last Friday in Panama with 341 government commitments to protect the marine ecosystem, which include funds for almost US$20,000 million. At the close of the ‘Our Ocean’ conference, the Panamanian Foreign Minister, JanainaTewaney, announced that in the 2-day conclave “341 new commitments” were sealed to combat pollution, illegal fishing and other threats to the sea, which involve funds for US$19.970 million.
It was also announced that the next ‘Our Ocean’ conference will take place in Greece, in 2024. The closing ceremony was attended by former US diplomat John Kerry, the main promoter of ‘Our Ocean’ and current White House envoy for weather issues.
Among the funds, €816 million (US$865 million) allocated by the European Union, as well as other US$6,000 million provided by the United States, stand out.
During the 2 days of debates in Panama, the 600 delegates from governments, NGOs, companies, and international organizations had their eyes set on the negotiations at the UN in New York on an agreement to protect the high seas, which covers half the planet. Delegates at ‘Our Ocean’ did not adopt agreements or take votes, instead announcing voluntary “commitments” to protect the ocean.