The EU wants to increase its spending on the world’s oceans to 816.5 million euros in 2023. This was announced by the EU Commission at a conference on ocean protection in Panama. “The oceans are part of who we are and we are responsible for them together,” said EU Commissioner for Environment and Oceans Virginijus Sinkevičius.

The EU projects therefore include investments of around 320 million euros for research to protect the biological diversity of the seas and to deal with the consequences of climate change on the oceans. 250 million euros are to flow into the launch of the earth observation satellite “Sentinel-1C”, which is to monitor icebergs and ice melt in the Arctic and monitor the effects of climate change. 126 million euros are to be made available for the protection of biological diversity and the fight against climate change in Benin, Guyana and Tanzania.

Host country Panama announced plans to almost double the size of its marine protected areas. President Laurentino Cortizo signed a corresponding decree. The area of ​​​​the Banco Volcán protected area in the Caribbean will be expanded to almost 94,000 square kilometers. As a result, more than 54 percent of the Panamanian exclusive economic zone will be under protection in the future – currently it is 30 percent.

At the international conference “Our Ocean”, representatives from governments, the private sector, organizations and civil society from 70 countries wanted to reach compromises to protect the oceans by Friday. The US government’s special envoy for climate issues, John Kerry, also attended the meeting. The conference was held for the first time in 2014 at the initiative of the US government.