We have a seat at the table to represent our marine future.
The Ocean is the heart of the planet. 70% of the earth’s surface, more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe and the biggest climate regulator there is. It is also a key part of our economy, carrying 90% of our trade and providing critical resources from global food security to mining and coastal developments. We know that coastal and marine systems we benefit from are vulnerable. Human activities affect marine ecosystems as a result of pollution, overfishing, the introduction of invasive species, climate change impacts including ocean acidification and deoxygenation and many competing activities in space and time.
The international law of the sea and the rule of law matter greatly. They are the basis for fair and equitable access among us all to our shared resources. for shipping, fishing, mining and all other activities at sea. They also are our insurance for a secure world.
Sound marine science is equally as critical to inform the development and implementation of international regulations and ensure sustainable development.
Ocean law and policy, which is based on the law of the sea and sound science keeps developing in many places including United Nations bodies in New York and Nairobi, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Kingston or the Arctic Council in Iceland. Wherever they are, ACOPS participates both directly or indirectly, to inform policy making.
In fact, ACOPS started 70 years ago, as the coordinating Advisory Committee on Oil Pollution of the Sea, established in 1952 by Lord Callaghan. It was one of the world’s first environmental non-government organisations.
On 17 May 2019, ACOPS hosted guests at the House of Lords for a changing of the guard that aspires to build on a storied history with an updated vision, scope and strategy. As we celebrated the 67th birthday of ACOPS, we launched ACOPS 67, a new plan to embrace a new age of communication and multi-stakeholder engagement. Marine environmental issues are not solely a government affair. Progress towards sustainable ocean requires constructive discussions that also involve scientists, industry, investors and the civil society.
For more on ACOPS 67, click here!