» IOC-UNESCO and SUEZ strengthen partnership to protect the ocean
12.09.2018 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

IOC-UNESCO and SUEZ strengthen partnership to protect the ocean

© UNESCO/IOC - Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, and Jean-Louis Chaussade, Director-Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ, during the signing of the partnership on 11 September 2018.

As part of the Partners’ Forum organized by UNESCO on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 September 2018 at its Paris Headquarters, Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ, have extended their existing collaboration until 2021 with the signature of a new partnership agreement for the protection of the ocean.

The ocean is the main regulator of our planet’s climate, yet it is threatened by an unprecedented pollution of which 80% is land-based. The presence of plastics is particularly alarming – we estimate that 8 to 12 million of tons enter the ocean each year. The global production of plastic amounts to 300 million of tons every year, and only a quarter of it is recycled.

Drawing on its unique and universal mandate within the United Nations system as well as its field expertise in all ocean basins, the IOC is proud to partner with SUEZ, whose global leadership makes it possible to develop concrete and local solutions to preserve water resources, recycle and recover waste, particularly plastics. By doing so, the group contributes to the protection of marine environments and strengthens their resilience to the impacts of global warming.

“In just a few years, the sounding alarm bells about the state of the ocean have become a salutary noise driving to urgent actions: global warming, pollution and the rapid urbanization of coastlines have led to an unprecedented deterioration in the quality of the ocean, our main water resource on Earth, covering more than 70%. There are still many actions to implement. This new agreement will help SUEZ and the IOC-UNESCO go further in the knowledge of the ocean and towards the actions to put in place for its protection,” stated Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ.

Through this partnership, SUEZ is committed to continuing the actions undertaken together with the IOC since 2015 and to proposing solutions to reaffirm its involvement, in particular by pursuing its objective of raising awareness around World Oceans Day (8 June) and its online portal unworldoceansday.org.

The new agreement strengthens the group’s collaboration with academics around specific topics in the fields of innovation and research, such as ocean acidification and deoxygenation. This shared knowledge will contribute to innovations and solutions, national and local politics, education and raising awareness among citizens.

Lastly, a component dedicated to the development of scientific knowledge about ocean pollution will allow mobilization of worldwide players around a common framework, through their participation in the preparation of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The IOC has been tasked to lead the Decade’s preparatory process by the UN General Assembly.

“The Decade must be an inclusive process that allows for the development of synergies beyond the UN system: with the political sphere, the scientific community, intergovernmental and regional bodies, civil society and the private sector. The agreement with SUEZ is in line with the partnership model we would like to develop and expand for the conservation and sustainable use of our ocean,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary.

For more information, please contact:

Rejane Hervé-Hayworth (r.herve(at)unesco.org)


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