Monaco Blue Initiative 12th Edition

22 March 2021

Executive Secretary, Dominic Pattinson, attended the Monaco Blue Initiative 12th Edition which was held online on 22 March 2021. Participants welcomed keynote speeches from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, John Kerry (US Special Envoy for Climate) and Ms Annick Girardin (French Minister of the Sea).

The first session focused on the role of international negotiations for better ocean governance reviewing high-level international negotiations and frameworks for the future of the Ocean. The keynote speakers all highlighted the number of important international events happening this year (BBNJ, IUCN, CBD, COP26, UN DECADES, etc) and reflected on how to create synergies between these processes to increase their effectiveness.

The key messages from the keynote presentations were:

  • the importance of rebuilding back better in a more sustainable way - recovery plans already total $12trillion that provide an unprecedented opportunity; ocean stewardship and climate stewardship inextricably linked;
  • the ocean can provide many of the solutions (mitigation and adaptation). Interesting suggestion to make EEZs - EEEZs Exclusive Economic and Ecosystem Zones and for all countries to have a Minister for the Sea to enhance cooperation and coherence at a national level;
  • The Panel highlighted the importance of concluding the BBNJ negotiations and to make sure that it put in place an effective tool to ensure implementation of commitments and targets. Sectoral bodies need to work together (e.g. RFMOs, IMO and RSCs);
  • Capacity building and data gaps were also highlighted, as was the need to align global and regional targets. UNEP highlighted the importance of the role the Regional Sea Conventions;
  • UNEP highlighted the importance of the role the Regional Sea Conventions.