G7 « Ocean » : working group on the future of the seas and oceans

At the end of its annual meeting on 13 and 14 June 2019 in Paris, the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Working Group issued a statement highlighting the importance of ocean observation and monitoring activities and announcing the establishment of a Coordination Centre for ocean observation platforms.

In May 2016, the G7 Science and Technology Minister's Summit identified the future of the seas and oceans as one of its priorities.

Five major strategic actions have been approved by Japan, Italy, Canada, Germany, the United States, Great Britain and France:

  1. Support the development of an initiative for enhanced global sea and ocean observation required to monitor inter alia climate change and marine biodiversity, e.g. through the Global Argo Network and other observation platforms, while fully sustaining and coordinating with ongoing observation;
  2. Support an enhanced system of ocean assessment through the UN Regular Process to develop a consensus view on the state of the oceans, working to a regular timescale which would enable sustainable management strategies to be developed and implemented across the G7 group and beyond;
  3. Promote open science and the improvement of the global data sharing infrastructure to ensure the discoverability, accessibility, and interoperability of a wide range of ocean and marine data;
  4. Strengthen  collaborative  approaches  to  encourage  the  development  of  regional  observing capabilities and knowledge networks in a coordinated and coherent way, including supporting the capacity building of developing countries;
  5. Promote increased G7 political-cooperation by identifying additional actions needed to enhance future routine ocean observations.

International working groups, composed of marine scientists and science ministries officials from the G7, were then established to prepare scientific proposals and guidance in line with these strategic directions.  Gilles Lericolais, Director of European and International Affairs at Ifremer, is one of the French representatives (with Alain Lagrance from DGRI) appointed to monitor, coordinate the work and integrate the French position.

On 13 and 14 June 2019, a meeting of the G7 « Ocean » was held in Paris to share information and progress on the different actions, to consider new actions around microplastics and to create a secretariat to promote and follow these new orientations.

Read the joint statement issued on this occasion by the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Working Group