Micheál Martin in France for the One Ocean summit

The Taoiseach is in Brittany for a summit of leaders on protecting the world’s oceans. Up to 40 world leaders are participating in the first high-level summit dedicated to the ocean.

Hosted by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, as a highlight of France’s six-month EU presidency, the three-day summit will also focus on efforts to improve governance of the high seas and coordinate international scientific research.

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin is expected to launch a new Brittany Ferries ferry route direct to Ireland.

One Ocean summit, which opened on Wednesday in the French port of Brest, aims to mobilize “unprecedented international political engagement” for a wide range of pressing maritime issues, said its chief organizer, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor.

“It is essential,” Poivre d’Arvor said. “The climate has its Cop process but there is no equivalent for the ocean, at a time when man’s relationship with the marine world has become more and more toxic, and global heating is causing extreme change.”

The Summit was launched by President Macron, call to action for countries around the globe to protect the world’s oceans.

President Macron hopes leaders will sign up to agreements sought by Non-Governmental Organisations and to push for an eventual global treaty on the oceans.

Ireland is already part of the EU Atlantic Strategy, alongside France, Spain, and Portugal, but this summit brings together leaders from Africa as well as Pacific and Indian Ocean islands.

In December, the Government passed the Maritime Area Planning Act, which provides for stricter governance of Ireland’s offshore waters when it comes to development, sustainability, and shipping access.

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