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Portugal urges the international community to preserve our oceans

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  • The Portuguese Minister of the Sea hosts more than 50 country delegations and international organizations
  • Speakers include Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO)
  • Countries are committed to change our oceans' governance practices

Lisbon, August 25 – By the initiative of the Portuguese Government and of the Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, the Oceans Meeting will be held in Lisbon between 7th and 8th September. More than 50 country delegations and international organizations will attend the international forum. During the Oceans Meeting the following events will take place: a high-level meeting with ministers and government representatives, an international conference and business meetings. The Oceans Meeting gives a new expression to a global movement led by Portugal, which is intended to be extended to more countries with oceanic connections and who are fully aware of the need to preserve the resources of the sea and contribute to a better maritime environment. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the primary objective of this event is to bring together experts and political leaders to discuss common international policies for the Ocean. Oceans' pollution is one of the top priority problems that needs to be addressed. The abusive and undue use of the sea as a garbage dump as well as other inorganic products, represent serious risks to the subsistence of marine fauna and flora. Most importantly, they constitute a threat to human life that must be fought while preserving the oceans and the well-being of people.

Portugal, a country with long maritime traditions and with an ongoing process of extension of its continental shelf, has responsibilities and obligations in guaranteeing the sustainability of the oceans. Therefore, the country wants to lead a high level international movement that works toward the sustainable use of the oceans, in an inclusive and joint manner.

A polluted and improperly used sea, with higher concentrations of heavy materials and plastic particles, means less oxygen in the air that we breathe and a lower quality of the marine resources that we consume.

Marine pollution has a direct impact on human life through chemicals, toxins and on other harmful microparticles in the ocean water.

The international conference taking place in parallel to the forum's inter-ministerial meeting will focus on the topic «Oceans and Human Health» and will feature the interventions of Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO).

Leonor Beleza, President of the Champalimaud Foundation, Lora Fleming, Director of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health and Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director in Europe for Oceana, are others of the renowned experts attending the conference.

The high-level speakers present in Lisbon reveal the importance of the oceans' sustainability topic. Their presence also shows that there is a growing awareness of the need to take urgent measures that can defend the sea from the abuses and pressures of a modern society, that thinks in the immediate and does not project itself in the future.

«Portugal is conscious of the risks posed to the oceans. We are creating a mobilizing movement for maritime countries that understand the importance of clean oceans and that, together, can develop the necessary measures to leave future generations a healthier and more productive sea», says the Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino.

«This is not rhetoric, we want action in a movement that will expand in the future to countless other countries with concerns about the sustainable use of the oceans», she added.

The inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by Ana Paula Vitorino, will be attended by ministers from various coastal states, namely the CPLP, from Mediterranean countries as well as from Europe and the North Atlantic. At the end, a declaration of intent will be adopted by the countries represented at the Lisbon meeting.

«We have a responsibility to safeguard the future of the oceans. By doing so, we are contributing to a better human development», said the Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, stressing the importance of the Oceans Meeting bringing together more than 50 country delegations and international organizations committed to the future of the oceans and, consequently, of humanity.

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Contacts:

José Barata, [email protected], +351 962 013 726

More information – http://www.oceansmeeting.pt

Media Contact

José Barata
[email protected]

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