June 9, 2018: Leaders of the Group of 7 (G7) agreed on the "Charlevoix Master Plan for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Communities" at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada. In addition, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) agreed to address the oceanic plastic in the "Chart of the Oceanic Plastics".
The group of advanced economies of the G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Five of the G7 nations agreed to the oceanic plastic chart. A footnote states that the United States "strongly supports oceans, seas and resilient coastal communities" and notes that the United States has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change and reservations in climate-related language in the Plan. In addition, Japan did not sign the Charter.
On resilient coasts and coastal communities, leaders commit to: supporting better planning for adaptation, preparation and recovery in emergencies; support innovative financing for coastal resilience; and launch a joint G7 initiative to deploy Earth observation technologies and related applications to expand capacities for integrated coastal zone management. The leaders request that the G7 ministerial meetings in Halifax work to present new actions related to this initiative, which will boost innovation and make technologies and applications available to poor and vulnerable communities. The leaders committed themselves to a series of actions, such as working in partnership to identify and evaluate policy gaps and vulnerabilities; encouraging the development of coastal management strategies, advancing the development and deployment of clean and resilient energy systems, including from renewable sources; advocate for and support nature-based solutions, such as the protection and rehabilitation of wetlands, mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs; and develop the capacity of small island developing States (SIDS).
On knowledge of the ocean, leaders commit to increasing the availability and exchange of science and data and expanding global conservation and monitoring efforts through improved global ocean monitoring and data collection, analysis, dissemination and use gender sensitive to fill gaps in understanding how women and girls are affected by risks and how to involve them in the development and implementation of solutions.
In oceans and sustainable fisheries, leaders agree to address issues and unregulated fishing (IUU) and other drivers of overexploitation of fish stocks, including through the implementation of the unique vessel identification scheme of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the strengthening of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), among other actions. Leaders commit to supporting strategies to protect and manage oceans and vulnerable resources, such as moving beyond the current Aichi 2020 Goals, including through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
In marine plastic debris and marine debris, leaders recognize the urgency of the threat of oceanic plastic waste and marine debris in ecosystems and commit to leveraging the G7's previous commitments and adopting a life cycle approach for plastics. The leaders agree to promote the harmonization of marine litter monitoring methodologies and collaboration in research on the impacts of marine litter.
In the 'Letter from the Oceanic Plastics', the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the EU are committed to moving towards a more sustainable and efficient approach to resources for the management of plastics. In the markets of sustainable design, production and subsequent use, the leaders agree to work with the industry towards 100 percent reusable, recyclable or, when there are no viable alternatives, recoverable plastics by 2030. They also agree to use green public procurement to reduce the Waste and support secondary and alternative plastics markets, work with the industry to increase the recycled content in plastic products, support secondary markets for plastics and work with the industry to reduce the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetic and personal care products.
In collection, management and other systems and infrastructure, leaders commit to work with industry and other levels of government to recycle and reuse at least 55 percent of plastic containers by 2030; increase domestic capacity to prevent leakage of plastics to the marine environment; encourage a supply chain approach for plastic production; and accelerate international action and catalyze investments to tackle marine litter in critical areas and vulnerable areas, among other actions.
In sustainable lifestyles and education, leaders are committed, among among others : to strengthen the rules for labeling to allow consumers to make sustainable decisions about plastics; promote the leadership role of women and youth as promoters of sustainable consumption and production practices (SCP); and support information exchange platforms to promote awareness and education efforts to prevent and reduce the generation of plastic waste and eliminate marine litter.
In research, innovation and new technologies, leaders ask the G7 environment ministers to promote new initiatives, such as a G7 Plastics Innovation Challenge, to promote research and development of technologies, design or production methods more sustainable. They call for research, development and use of technologies to eliminate plastics and microplastics from wastewater and sewage sludge and to harmonize science-based monitoring methodologies.
On the coast and on the coast, the leaders commit to accelerate the implementation of the G7 2015 leaders "Action plan to combat marine debris". They also promote campaigns on marine debris to raise awareness.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, welcomed the letter in a publicity event convened as part of the G7 meeting. He warned, however, that "we should all do much more" both in plastic waste and in all oceanic problems. Guterres described the fight for the oceans as "a battle" that the world is "losing on all fronts," pointing to the depletion of fish stocks by overfishing, coastal areas killed by pollution, untreated waste that flows in the sea and the acidification of the ocean as a result of climate change. He highlighted SDG 14 (life underwater) as a "battle plan" to address these challenges and urged leaders to take threats to the oceans and the global environment seriously.
The G7 Summit was held from June 8 to 9, 2018. 2015, the G7 agreed on an action plan to combat marine litter, which they reaffirmed in 2016 and discussed again in 2017. [Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Communities] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [Summit Website][SDG Knowledge Hub summary of G7 Leaders Summit]