Luís Forra/ Lusa

Portugal wants to be recognised as ‘ocean governance partner’

Portugal wants to be recognised by the international community as a partner involved in the governance of the oceans, minister of the Sea Ricardo Serrão Santos said at the opening of the Ocean Forum in Paris yesterday.

“The Portuguese policy for the oceans is in favour of a sustainable blue economy, in the framework of a healthy ocean and with the help of scientific knowledge, making Portugal recognised as a partner involved in the governance of the oceans,” he said.

The opening of this international meeting took place in the auditorium of the Sorbonne International Conference Centre. It was attended by the French Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin, the president of the Natural History Museum, Bruno David, and the president of the Sorbonne, Nathalie Drach-Temam.

Continuing until Friday, the sea is to be at the centre of discussions involving Portuguese and French scientists as well as business people and politicians. 

The initiative is part of what Lusa calls ‘the Cross Season between France and Portugal’.

“Relations between Portugal and France are exceptional, certainly because we both have this link with the sea, which is very strong,” Minister Annick Girardin told the audience, adding that it is not by chance that France and Portugal are the only two countries in the European Union with ministries exclusively dedicated to the sea.

Scientific knowledge about this “still largely unknown territory” is essential for taking decisions which, due to climate change, will have a significant impact on the future of humanity.

“The complexity of the phenomena we are facing requires reliable scientific information to support clear political negotiations. We cannot negotiate on climate or decide on a moratorium; there are no unions or confederations that represent these phenomena. Our tool is scientific knowledge and behavioural change”, said Mr Serrão Santos.

The event comes a few weeks after the Maritime Summit in Brest, which brought together leaders from around the world, including Emmanuel Macron and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

The forum also wants to mark the Oceans Conference, organised by Portugal and Kenya in June in Lisbon.

To turn this meeting into a crossover event, another edition of the Ocean Forum will be held in Lisbon on September 2, with the theme “The Atlantic: a shared Franco-Portuguese vision”.

The Portugal-France Season 2022 is a bilateral diplomacy initiative between Portugal and France, aiming to deepen the cultural relationship between the two countries.

It has a programme that will run between February and October this year, in various areas, including shows, exhibitions and gastronomy demonstrations, and other events.