Greenpeace urges Mexico to back ambitious ocean-protection plan
Mexico City, Feb 10 (EFE).- Greenpeace Mexico held a protest here Thursday demanding that Mexico’s government adopt an ambitious stance ahead of the fourth and final round of inter-governmental talks (IGC4) on a Global Ocean Treaty.
“We urge Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard to commit to a ministerial-level representation in the next round of negotiations and to publicly state the Mexican government’s position in favor of a 30×30 target (protecting at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030) and the approval of a strong Global Ocean Treaty that allows that goal to be achieved,” Ornela Garelli, an oceans, plastics and responsible consumption campaigner at Greenpeace Mexico, said.
As part of the protest outside the Foreign Affairs Secretariat in Mexico City, the activists delivered a letter to that ministry’s legal adviser informing him that 4 million people worldwide, including over 250,000 people in Mexico, have signed a petition demanding far greater ocean protection.
They said that fewer than 3 percent of oceans worldwide are currently protected, a proportion that many scientists say needs to rise to at least 30 percent to ensure the long-term health of the planet.
She noted that Mexico has been a regional leader on this issue in Latin America, encouraging other countries to support an oceans treaty and supporting the goal of reaching a definitive agreement this year at IGC4, a round of talks that has been postponed for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic and now is scheduled to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City from March 7-18.
Garelli also said countries have been pressured by industries that want to keep exploiting the oceans.
“That’s why a greater consensus must be built among nations around the creation of more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the establishment of more robust mechanisms for their monitoring and protection,” she added.
Greenpeace Mexico said the focus of Mexico and other countries with respect to the treaty has been on access to and fair and equitable benefit-sharing of marine genetic resources and capacity-building and transfer of marine technology rather than on the creation of more MPAs.
In that regard, the environmental watchdog urged Mexico to back a drive to grant authority to state parties – acting collectively via a Conference of Parties – to manage ocean conservation through a network of MPAs, including fully protected ocean sanctuaries.
It noted that to date the country has only lobbied for maintaining the role of existing ocean-protection entities.