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Environment Environment

Protect international waters

Last updated: 12:43pm 15 January 2019

We will champion greater conservation co-operation within international bodies, protecting rare species, the polar regions and international waters.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.40

Our verdict

Protecting international waters is part of the government’s plan to protect the global environment. They have made headway with the Blue Belt Programme, yet this only protects the marine environments of UK Overseas Territories. So, has progress been made on a broader international level?

In April 2018, the UK joined the Coral Reef Life Declaration, thereby joining the international fight to safeguard the world’s coral reefs from climate change and rising sea temperatures.

The Commonwealth has also united to protect international waters, with New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana joining the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance – an agreement between member states to combat plastic pollution.

On 19 June 2018, the ban on the sale of products containing microbeads came into effect in an attempt to prevent plastic entering the ocean. The government is also funding research into the effect of such microplastics entering the ocean, having pledged £200,000 to the University of Plymouth for an 11-month project.

On 22 June 2018, the government announced a new plan to protect the world’s oceans by bringing all international oceans work under a single strategy. The government stated that this new strategy would be developed over the coming months, so keep an eye out for any progress.

The manifesto promised the protection of international waters. Given the evidence of funding, strategic initiatives and involvement in international marine conservation efforts, we’re marking this pledge as ‘done’.

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