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At the fourth Our Ocean Conference, Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks will press for the designation of international marine protected areas on the high seas. Oceans and seas are still the least protected areas on Earth. The United Nations agreed to place a minimum of 10 per cent of the marine surface under protection by 2020. This year's Our Ocean Conference in St Julian's in Malta, is being organised by the European Commission. more

The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on mercury will start on September 24th. 76 countries, including Germany, have ratified the convention so far. The Convention places a ban on the operation of new mercury mines and limits the use of mercury in industrial processes. Furthermore, it introduces a medium-term restriction on the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining. more

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The two countries want to support the United Nations in drawing up and implementing a global strategy for sustainable financing with up to 2.5 million US dollars each. State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth and Italian Minister of the Environment Gian Luca Galletti signed a corresponding declaration of intent in New York. Other topics included COP 23 and the UN reform agenda. Both sides also supported the idea of closer cooperation. more

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16 September 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This international agreement proves that the international community is able to respond decisively and successfully to global environmental changes. The vital ozone layer surrounding the Earth has recovered significantly in the three decades since the protocol entered into force. more

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Germany and France plan to work together to advance the speedy implementation of the Paris Agreement in Europe. This was agreed at a meeting in Berlin on 4 September by State Secretary at the German Federal Environment Ministry, Jochen Flasbarth, and State Secretary at the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson. The meeting kicked off closer cooperation in the field of climate action more