Parliamentary Assembly Backs Ovchynnykova’s Call for Ocean Protection

On 18 April 2024, the Parliamentary Assembly adopted by a large majority a resolution and a recommendation based on a report prepared by ALDE member Yuliia Ovchynnykova (Ukraine). Ms Ovchynnykova’s report echoed PACE Recommendation 2211 (2021), which called for the recognition of the right to a clean environment as a human right and for strengthened multilateral cooperation to protect the ocean from pollution.

The document urged the implementation and strengthening of treaties protecting marine life, including the Bern Convention for marine ecosystem protection. It also invited member states to collaborate with the International Maritime Organisation to improve human rights standards in maritime activities. Additionally, the report proposed creating marine protected areas and criminalizing harm to marine environments.

War is also responsible for pollution. Yuliia Ovchynnykova advocates for action to support the Black Sea, impacted by the Russian war against Ukraine, which includes mine clearing and coordinated recovery efforts. In its Resolution, the Assembly urges member states to consider “An Environmental Compact for Ukraine – A Green Future: Recommendations for Accountability and Recovery” presented by the High-level Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of the War, addressing the environmental harm affecting the Black Sea.

Finally, the European Union member states were invited to protect and restore 30% of the EU’s marine areas by 2030.

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