ENVIRONMENT: Launch of the international initiative to combat sargassum COP28 Dubai

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The Minister Delegate for Overseas Territories, Philippe Vigier, officially launched on December 2, 2023 in Dubai, on the sidelines of COP 28, the international initiative to combat sargassum with the vice-president of the Guadeloupe Region, and with support from the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

The abnormal proliferation of sargassum and its massive strandings on the coasts of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico since 2011 constitute worrying threats to coastal biodiversity, population health and economic activity. Increased international cooperation is now necessary to better respond to this challenge, whether in the field of research, the exchange of good practices, the consideration of sargassum reservoirs or the valorization of stranded algae. This is why France, affected through its overseas communities in the Antilles (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy) proposed this initiative as a follow-up to the international conference it organized in Guadeloupe on sargassum in 2019 with the Guadeloupe Region. Its ambition is to achieve, at the multilateral level, an international action plan during the United Nations Conference on the Oceans which will take place in Nice in June 2025 and to strengthen regional cooperation, notably through the Cartagena Convention on the protection of the marine environment in the Caribbean and the European Interreg SARG'COOP project led by the Guadeloupe Region. This unprecedented approach will be deployed in close coordination with the new European commitments which were launched at the EU-CELAC Summit in July 2023 as part of the “Global Gateway” investment agenda. This diplomatic initiative, which fully involves the Guadeloupe Region alongside the Minister Delegate, and supported by Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, gave rise to a Joint Declaration in order to mobilize the the entire international community and launch the rest of the process by the United Nations Ocean Conference in 2025. _VX

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