September 20, 2018 - 12:10 PM EDT
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Canada's Environment, Oceans and Energy Ministers announce concrete action to advance economic progress through healthy, sustainable oceans at G7 Ministerial Meeting

Canada NewsWire

HALIFAX, Sept. 20, 2018 /CNW/ - One Canadian out of five live in communities along our ocean coasts and over 300,000 Canadian jobs are tied to the marine sector. Our Government recognizes that a prosperous economy depends on healthy and sustainable oceans, here in Canada and around the world. Our oceans and fisheries face fundamental threats. These challenges are global in nature and require a global response that involves scientific evidence, collaborative partnerships and concrete action.

Today, our Government demonstrated its commitment to take strong leadership against the current threats to our oceans and fisheries by taking action in the following areas:

Combatting illegal fishing: The Government of Canada will invest a total of up to $11.6 million to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing throughout the world and declares support for the Global Fishing Watch -- an international, non-profit organization that promotes healthy, productive and resilient oceans through transparent and effective governance of its marine resources. 

Fighting marine litter and plastic pollution: Today, our Government committed to diverting at least 75 per cent of the plastic waste from government operations by 2030. Additionally, our government announced a $65 million investment through the World Bank for an international fund to address plastic waste in developing countries, and another $12 million to invest in made-in-Canada innovative approaches and technologies that help to stop the flow of plastics to the oceans.

Building resilient communities: Canada will provide $60 million to help small island developing states (SIDS) build back better after extreme weather events notably by accelerating their transition to cleaner energy systems. G7 members and international organizations are supporting SIDS efforts through bilateral and multilateral initiatives. The Government of Canada initiated an online dialogue with the #CaRESforSIDS campaign to highlight the work done globally on Clean and Resilient Energy Systems (CaRES).

Our Government is taking a comprehensive all-of-government approach to make our oceans safer, cleaner and healthier. For an overview, please visit our newly launched webpage at Canada.ca/Our-Oceans.

Today's announcements come during the second day of the G7 ministerial meeting on the theme of Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy, which is happening from September 19 to 21, 2018, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Quotes

"The health of our oceans is in danger and the time to act is now. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs rely on sustainable oceans. Our Government is working with our international partners, including those in the G7, to combat illegal fishing, support ocean science, and tackle marine plastics. This way, we can protect our beautiful coasts and build prosperous, stronger, and more resilient coastal communities. Healthy oceans mean a healthy, thriving and growing Canadian economy."

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"Plastics pollution is damaging our oceans, lakes and rivers, here in Canada and around the world. We all have a role to play in beating plastic pollution. If we don't take action now, plastic pollution in our oceans could weigh more than fish by 2050. Our Government is proud to be taking actions that will cut plastic pollution across all its operations and supporting Canadian innovations and initiatives that will keep plastics out of our oceans and in our economy. By protecting the environment and growing the economy, we are ensuring a healthier and more prosperous future for our kids and grandkids."

 Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

"Canada is proud to bring the issue of clean and resilient energy systems to the forefront of the G7 ministerial discussions. We will work to sustain international momentum around this issue to help increase international collaboration where they are most needed around the world. This will help create energy systems that better withstand the devastating effects of severe weather events, while increasing economic growth potential, including through gender-balanced approaches."

Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources

"Taking action to protect our environment and strengthen the economy is a priority for Canada, and leadership starts at home. Reducing and diverting plastic waste from federal operations is putting solutions into action. Canada is committed to leading by example on greener government operations and delivering a low-carbon, clean-growth economy."

Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

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Backgrounder

Investing in our oceans

Today, on the margins of the G7 ministerial meeting on the theme of Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy, the Government of Canada demonstrated its commitment to take strong leadership against the current threats to our oceans and fisheries by taking action in the following areas:

Combatting illegal fishing

To fight the negative ecological and economic impacts of global illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities, Canada recognizes the need for more collaborative work with NGOs and the private sector in using innovative technology to track and share data about global fishing activity. The Government of Canada will invest up to $10 million to support the development and deployment of satellite-based technologies that can remotely identify and track suspected IUU vessels, which is essential to stopping illegal fishing activities and holding owners to account. An additional investment of up to $1.6 million will contribute to the development of regional fisheries intelligence sharing for Western Central Pacific countries to share information, and develop new tools and best practices to eliminate IUU fishing in their waters.

Publically sharing and improving access to user-friendly data about the health of our fish stocks and the management of our fisheries is critical to the sustainability of our oceans. The Government of Canada is committed to improved access to user-friendly data and thus supports the work of the Global Fishing Watch -- an international, non-profit organization that promotes healthy, productive and resilient oceans through transparent and effective governance of its marine resources. 

Fighting marine litter and plastic pollution

In Charlevoix, G7 Leaders recognized the urgency of the threat of ocean plastic waste and marine litter to ecosystems and the lost value of plastics in the waste system. Plastic pollution is a major problem for the health of our oceans, lakes and rivers, and for the places and wildlife that Canadians love. The federal government is committed to stepping up to do its part. Today, the Government of Canada committed to diverting at least 75 per cent of the plastic waste from government operations by 2030. It will achieve this by eliminating the use of unnecessary single-use plastics, increasing recycling rates, and leveraging its purchasing decisions to focus on sustainable plastic products.

The Government of Canada also announced a $65 million investment through the World Bank for an international fund to address plastic waste in developing countries, where the problem is most acute. These investments, through co-financing, would focus on solid waste infrastructure initiatives and capacity building for cities and local governments.

These new commitments come as the federal government and provinces and territories prepare to meet in November to consider a national approach to reducing plastic pollution. The Government of Canada has been running a public consultation since April that has returned over 14,000 submissions from Canadians with suggestions for what should be included in these plans. The public consultation period closes on September 21.

Canada also announced it will invest over $12 million to support made-in-Canada innovative approaches and technologies that help to stop the flow of plastics to the oceans.

Building resilient communities

Building the resilience of vulnerable coasts and communities to the impacts of climate change is an important focus of Canada's G7 Presidency. In support of these efforts, Canada will provide $60 million to help small island developing states (SIDS) build back better after extreme weather events notably by accelerating their transition to cleaner energy systems. The funding will support efforts to scale up renewable energy generation, energy efficiency and battery storage solutions, as well as improve gender equality in these sectors.

G7 members and international organizations are supporting SIDS efforts through bilateral and multilateral initiatives. The Government of Canada initiated an online dialogue with the #CaRESforSIDS campaign to highlight the work done globally on Clean and Resilient Energy Systems (CaRES).

September 2018

 

SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2018/20/c3098.html

Jocelyn Lubczuk, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, [email protected]; 343-548-7863; Caroline Thériault, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 613-462-5473, [email protected]; Vanessa Adams, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-292-6811, [email protected] CNW Group 2018


Source: Canada Newswire (September 20, 2018 - 12:10 PM EDT)

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