Rio +20 & Marine “ask”
UNEP published a report on 26th January 2012, “Green Economy – Blue World” which aims to force marine issues on to the Rio+20 international agenda. The report stresses the importance of the seas and oceans. Key messages from the report include:
- Worldwide Green Economy not possible unless the seas and oceans are a key part of the transformation process.
- Need for a comprehensive governance framework, implementing ecosystem approach to fisheries, costal area management including spatial planning. Also call for greening of vessels (discharges to sea and emissions)
- More R&D to ensure marine-based renewable energy delivers on its potential to low-carbon energy security. Knowledge of ecosystem services and management decisions need to be informed by sound scientific information.
- Consistent long-term policies and targets financial support from government are needed if technical barriers and cost reductions are to be overcome.
This report is unlikely to influence the Rio+20 agenda. Defra as the lead UK Government Department has shown no intention of majoring on marine issues. DFID (with other Agencies) has been pressing for the focus to be on Food, Water and Materials Security, which may pick up marine and other environmental issues.