15 June 2017 - Following the historic Ocean Conference (June 5-9), held to mobilize action towards achieving the targets set for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, ‘Life Below Water’ , the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Cousteau Society signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, to undertake a range of ocean-related joint and coordinated activities at the global, regional and national level. Programmes run by UNDP and the Cousteau Society share a number of geographic areas such as the Black Sea, Red Sea and the Comoros Islands.
Signing the MoU on behalf of UNDP, Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support said: “Perhaps no name is more closely associated with ocean protection than that of Jacques Cousteau, whose incredible legacy is carried on through the work of the Cousteau Society. UNDP and the Cousteau Society both recognize that a healthy ocean is essential to poverty reduction and sustainable development. UNDP is honoured and privileged to join hands and work with the Cousteau Society.”
UNDP and the Cousteau Society share similar missions and see great benefit in cooperation between the two organizations. The MoU will enable the organizations to work together on oceans advocacy and awareness raising, marine ecosystem assessments, and tools and guidance on marine resource management.
Francine Cousteau, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Cousteau Society, said, “I thank UNDP and the devoted team for having shown confidence in our capacity to join forces to carry forward the work of Jacques Cousteau in the quest of excellence for the health of our Oceans and for the well-being of people on the water planet. On the eve of the twentieth Anniversary of Captain Cousteau's passing, it is the most beautiful tribute we can offer to his work and to future generations, I am very enthusiastic and grateful."
Jacques Cousteau through his life and his work was a leader in the environmental movement. He was a naval officer, an explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher.