The World Marine Mammal Conference ended last week in Barcelona. This event gathered 2700 people form 95 different countries linked to research and conservation of marine mammals. From SUBMON, as the organizing committee of WMMC’19 we believed from the beginning that if we were all here… something had to happen. This is why these last weeks we have been working to reach a consensus on a Declaration as a legacy for the future, to improve research, conservation and education and to create synergies between scientists and society stakeholders.
The Barcelona Declaration calls for commitment of the signatories in a number of key principles and a pledge of three specific goals:
Signatories of the Barcelona Declaration commit themselves to:
- Carry out the highest-quality scientific work
- Share this work widely with the public at all levels through appropriate channels
- Inspire and motivate the public to protect marine mammals and the environments they inhabit
- Engage with policy-makers to ensure that management and conservation efforts are based upon the best available scientific information
- Strengthen existing collaborations, and seek out new ones across disciplines and boundaries
- Mentor and support students to always creatively look towards the future
Goal 1: To enhance conservation of marine mammals beyond national boundaries, in particular through Marine Protected Areas in the High Seas.
Goal 2: To enhance and strengthen international collaboration to (1) ensure consistent, high-quality response to stranded marine mammals globally, and (2) support conservation efforts for species under threat of extinction.
Goal 3: To use science, education and policy to reduce the deaths of marine mammals in fishery interactions, currently the greatest cause of human-induced mortality.
The Declaration was signed in situ by more than 8OO people and was delivered to the Minister of Territory and Sustainability of the Government of Catalonia, during the reception of a delegation from WMMC’19 at the Palau de la Generalitat. The Barcelona Declaration will soon be online, in order to be adopted for individuals as well as for organizations, universities and research centers.