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Charta Smeralda Signed at ONE OCEAN FORUM

Marine Litter Crisis 140

From 3-4 October at the ONE OCEAN Forum in Milan, marine scientists, NGOs, captains of industry and thought leaders came together to debate the priorities concerning the future health of our oceans. 

The event was organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) with the patronage of Princess Zahra Aga Khan, in partnership with UNESCO Intergovernmental Commission of Oceanography and SDA Bocconi Sustainability LAB, with the support of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Ministry of the Environment, the City of Milan, Sardinia Autonomous Region, CONI, SYBAss, Nautica Italiana, UCINA, Nautical Confindustria, the Genoa Boat Show and Capricorn Center Velico.

On 4 October the priorities and action points for individuals and organizations were formalized in the Charta Smeralda, a code of ethics to protect the marine environment, which was signed by Princess Zahra Aga Khan and YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo. 

The Commodore explained, "Science alone cannot promote the necessary changes. The challenge is great: to protect the ocean that is suffering through our own fault, by ensuring that everyone’s attention is focused and alert. This forum was born from the idea that the ocean has given us a lot and now it is time to give something back. I would like to thank Princess Zahra, patroness of this initiative, and every stakeholder of the Forum. The Charta Smeralda is the means and the voice of this initiative and we hope that as many people as possible will sign up to it”.

Click to view the Charta Smeralda

The State of the World's Oceans

The global market value of coastal and marine industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year, equivalent to 5% of global GDP. Over 3 billion people depend on our oceans for their subsistence. Yet 8 million tons of plastic waste makes its way into the oceans every year. There are 1.2 million fragments of microplastics (below 5 mm) per km2 in the Mediterranean alone, the highest concentration in the world.

Climate change, acidification of the oceans, loss of biodiversity, marine pollution and excessive exploitation of resources are just a few of the issues requiring urgent intervention. 

Beach strewn with plastic debris wikimedia commons2
Issues & Solutions

During the ONE OCEAN Forum the following charter commitments were identified, in line with the priorities identified by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, endorsed by the United Nations in 2015:

Preventing coastal and maritime pollution
Preserving water resources by minimizing consumption
Reduce energy consumption and our carbon footprint by adopting renewable sources
Optimizing the use of natural resources
Eliminating disposable plastic
Adopting sustainable, ethical and responsible practices
Playing an active role in the protection and reclamation of the oceans
Collaborating with other stakeholders
Supporting the scientific community
Educating and involving new generations 

The LABs held on the first day of the Forum defined a roadmap with concrete solutions based on input from delegates and thought leaders from Audi, Dompè and Pantecnica,  Intercos and Biofarma, Aquafil, Sipa and Catella Foundation, Luxury Living and Perini Navi:

Marine Litter & Pollution - Microplastic 

Actions to promote correct information, coming primarily from the scientific community:

  • Social awareness campaigns on plastic pollution and encouragement of mitigation and reduction of micro-plastics;

  • Incentives for the recovery of fishing nets;

  • Design and industrialization of microfilters for drainage of washing machines to avoid the dispersion of microplastics. 

Microplastics via Flikr3

Marine Litter & Pollution - Plastic

  • Definition of a premier and competitive system for sharing best practice in companies; 

  • Definition of a deposit tax to encourage the reduction of production and use of plastic material.

Climate & Global Change 

  • Walk the talk: To make climate change tangible in everyday life by communicating it; 

  • The switch: Develop an app to measures the impact of sustainable actions, generating a score that allows users to understand their daily contribution to climate change; 

  • Map naturalistic and landscaping conservation projects and evaluate their ability to generate wealth for the reference territories; 

  • Encouragement of a circular economy that allows the recovery of waste and their regeneration. 

Blue Technologies & Innovations 

  • Creating the "ONE OCEAN Corporate University" to promote the education, training and a comparison path;

  • Definition of aspirational standards for the business world in order to project long-term sustainability pathways;

  • Definition of an "Ocean rating system" to assess the virtuosity of environmental companies.

Ocean Literacy

  • Introducing a digital platform to collect ocean information and integrate this information with best practices; 

  • Realization of a digital platform that allows sailors, and more generally boat owners, to make available to researchers who need field surveys (the model is the airbnb of the boats for the researchers); 

  • Workshops at local level. 

OneOean Forum

ONE OCEAN Forum's Thought Leaders

  • Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

  • François Bailet, Senior Legal Officer at the United States Department of Maritime Affairs and Maritime Law at the United Nations

  • Sam Dupont, Researcher at Eco Physiology at the University of Gothenburg

  • Maria Cristina Fossi, Professor of Ecology and Ecotoxicology at the University of Siena and Scientific Director of the Biomarker Laboratory at the Department of Physical and Earth Sciences

  • American sailor Paul Cayard, holder of the world record of immersion free Davide Carrera

  • Franco-American environmentalist and artist Anne de Carbuccia

  • BBC and National Geographic journalist  Paul Rose

Panel for Best Practices - Blue Technology

  • Nino Tronchetti Provera of Ambienta

  • Giulio Bonazzi of Aquafil

  • Alfonso Saibene Canepa of Canepa

  • Daniela Ducato of Geolana

  • Erin Smith of Ocean Sole

The ONE OCEAN Forum was created by YCCS in collaboration with FeelRouge Worldwide Shows. The content has been defined by the UNOCE and SDA Bocconi Scientific Committee ONE OCEAN Forum and supported by Rolex and Audi, YCCS, Aquafil, Luxury Living Group, Dilbar, Intercos, Carrier Foundation, Perini Navi, Pantecnica, Foundation Riccardo Catella, Sipa, Dompé, Biofarma and Immobilsarda. 

For more information please contact:

Alessia Crivelli: alessiacrivelli@yccs.it
YCCS Communication and Sponsorship Director 
Web: Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Web: OneOceanForum

OneOcean Forum logo




*Image credits: Marine litter crisis - HugoTagholm CC BY-SA 4.0  via Wikimedia Commons
Stop Trashing my Ocean by Ingrid Taylar via Flickr CC BY 2.0; Beach strewn with plastic - US Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters CC BY 2.0 via WikimediaCommons

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