Credit: Ana de Lara Ruiz

Luxembourg has chosen today, Monday 8 June 2020 (and World Oceans Day), to join the Global Ocean Alliance.

Despite being a landlocked country, Luxembourg has been committed to protecting the oceans for several years. Indeed, the Grand Duchy is the only European Union Member State without coastline to be a contracting party to the OSPAR Commission, a convention on the regional sea whose mission is the protection and preservation of the North-East Atlantic. Luxembourg also supports efforts to establish a legally binding international instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ​​(UNCLOS).

Aware of the collective obligation to protect the oceans, Luxembourg has chosen 8 June, which is World Oceans Day, to join the Global Ocean Alliance. This coalition of thirteen countries was initiated by the United Kingdom during the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. This planetary coalition aims to protect at least 30% of earth's oceans by 2030 with the aim of reversing the damage caused to the oceans by human activity and allow populations of fish and other marine species to regenerate and thus maintain the health of oceans in the long term.

As a national commitment, Luxembourg has also decided to make a financial contribution to the NGO Global Fishing Watch to advance a pilot project which aims at better monitoring of fishing beyond the areas of national jurisdiction. More specifically, the project aims to minimise the incidental catch of endangered species of sharks, turtles and birds protected by other international agreements.

Luxembourg has also set up, together with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a financing facility for the management of funds for coastal climate resilience. The financing facility will help structure specific investment opportunities for projects aimed at the conservation and restoration of natural coastal systems, innovation in maritime data technologies as well as drinking water and renewable energy solutions in coastal areas.