The European Union (EU) announced today that it will move forward with an additional 300 million euros to help protect and conserve the oceans during a conference that ends today on the Indonesian island of Bali.
During the two days of the “Our Ocean” conference, the EU also announced 23 new projects to combat marine pollution and climate change, as well as to promote sustainable fishing and a blue economy.
The European bloc understands the blue economy as one that recognizes the importance of the seas and oceans as engines of the economy because of its great potential for innovation and growth.
“This important contribution is in addition to the EUR 500 million that the European Union promised when it organized the ‘O Nosso Oceano’ conference last year in Malta,” the EU said in a statement.
A fund of 100 million euros will be invested in research for more ‘friendly’ plastics of the environment, within the Horizon 2020 European program.
The remaining capital pledged in Bali will finance conservation, decontamination and sustainable fisheries projects in Africa and Asia.
EU foreign policy representative Federica Mogherini said that “no country can have success alone” in the conservation of the oceans.
“It requires determination, coherence and alliances, inside and outside the European Union,” he added.
Around 250 organizations, including governments and companies such as Coca-Cola, Danone and Inditex signed on Monday at the conference, the so-called “global commitment to the new plastic economy”, designed to reduce the use of plastic and facilitate their recycling.
Some experts estimate that, at the current rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
The “Our Ocean” conference in Bali is the fifth since its debut and the first in Asia.