EU lighthouse initiative to protect the oceans: Hamburg becomes a location

Ministers and officials from across the Baltic and North Seas are meeting in Hamburg on April 25-26 as part of a European initiative to improve the condition of both seas. There is also a program for interested citizens.

Water has been the city’s lifeblood for centuries, so it’s no coincidence that Hamburg was chosen as the location for a 21st-century “Lighthouse Initiative” that aims to breathe life back into the oceans, seas and rivers.

Ministers from Germany and other countries bordering the North and Baltic Seas will meet with high-level participants on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th April at the Factory Hammerbrooklyn in Hamburg to agree on concrete steps to be taken to improve health to protect the marine areas of the Baltic and North Seas and to make the blue economy climate-neutral and circular.

On the morning of April 25, those interested can discover an exhibition in the digital quarter of the Factory Hammerbrooklyn, where they can play interactive games, see sculptures made of algae and talk to representatives of the initiative “Plastic Pirates – Go Europe”. Plastic Pirates, launched in Germany in 2016 to raise awareness among young people about the problem of plastic waste and its impact on the environment, has expanded beyond national borders into the EU-funded citizen research project “Plastic Pirates – Go Europe!” as part of Horizon Europe. So that even more young people can contribute to the success, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will provide 600,000 euros in national funds over the next three years.

This means that Germany is now a leader in the collection and analysis of plastic waste in rivers and coastal areas. The North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts will also be cleaned as part of future sampling campaigns in Germany. The collected material will be scientifically evaluated and the results will flow into the project. The Plastic Pirates campaign makes an important contribution to the EU Oceans and Waters mission, which Germany is happy to support. The Port of Hamburg has just adopted the charter of this mission and has already launched several projects for its decarbonization – a step that the European Commission welcomes.

Interest? Then immerse yourself in the world of the oceans on April 25 at Factory Hammerbrooklyn. frantisek hojdysz – stock.adobe.

Boy swims with starfish
Interest? Then immerse yourself in the world of the oceans on April 25 at Factory Hammerbrooklyn.

The following day will be about how best we can act together to achieve the ambitious goals of the mission “Revival of our oceans and waters”, in particular how we eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from maritime economic activities in the EU or achieve a circular, low-carbon Promote multipurpose use of sea and water spaces.

“Towards a productive but sustainable use of water space”

The mission goes far beyond research and innovation. It combines new forms of governance and collaboration to drive change where people live. The mission “Revival of our oceans and waters by 2030” will build an emissions reduction lighthouse in the Baltic and North Seas to pave the way towards a productive but sustainable use of water space. The lighthouse partners will implement zero-emission actions in key maritime economic sectors at sea-basin scale, complementing actions of other ongoing EU initiatives.

Four lighthouses

The Oceans and Waters mission includes four lighthouses covering the Mediterranean, Baltic-North Sea, Danube Basin and Black Sea and Atlantic-Arctic Basin. They are locations that develop, test and deploy transformative and innovative solutions in these four specific areas.

The Ocean Mission, on the other hand, is one of five missions launched by the EU up to 2030. The other four missions concern adapting to climate change, improving the lives of people with cancer and their families, creating carbon-neutral cities and improving the health of our soils. They will involve all people in Europe at EU, regional and local level. It’s about what we can do together to shape the world we want to live in.

The Mission Charter is intended to mobilize all stakeholders to achieve the Mission’s objectives, increase collaboration, pool efforts and achieve the critical mass for the change needed to revitalize our oceans and waters by 2030.

There is more information about the event here.

Here is more information about the mission and its charter.

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