What’s Going On Here?
In a world first, an ocean initiative has been formed by 14 governments who are leading the way to sustain healthier, more prosperous oceans. The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy is the biggest collaboration on oceans to date.
What Does This Mean?
Like-minded world leaders with sustainable ocean management at heart have recently released their Action Agenda, pioneering the way to a bluer future.
These leaders have committed to sustainably manage 100% of the oceans in their national waters by 2025, covering an area almost the size of Africa! Combined, these countries are responsible for 40% of the world’s coastlines. Through proactively managing human activities and working with a diverse range of stakeholders, the panel hopes to achieve effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity.
Their main commitments are to:
1. Help end overfishing and illegal fishing
2. Rebuild declining fish stocks
3. Stop the flow of plastic waste into seas
4. Clean up “dead zones” (areas with too little oxygen to support marine life)
As part of this movement, the panel are also committing to designate 30% of waters under their national jurisdiction as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030. These fully protected areas are intended to restore and safeguard habitats and biodiversity.
Why Should We Care?
Humans have long taken the ocean for granted – it’s time we give it the TLC it so deserves. The benefits of investing in our oceans are endless, from providing nutritious food, to clean energy and simply pleasure.
Not only this, but investing in the oceans can contribute to world wealth as well as health. The panel predicted that for every $1 spent on sustainable ocean action, it would generate $5 returns in benefits. One report even proposes that the ocean economy directly contributes to over $1.5 trillion a year to the global economy!
This unique initiative may give us the hope for the future of our oceans that we all need.
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