• The Forum's Virtual Ocean Dialogues conference is taking place, looking at how we can take action for a healthy, resilient, thriving ocean.
  • From global commitments to tackling climate change, these are some of the key quotes of the Setting the Stage for Ocean Action session.

On Monday, the first day of the World Economic Forum's Virtual Ocean Dialogues ended with a session looking at how we can take action for a healthy, resilient, thriving ocean – Setting the Stage for Ocean Action.

As José María Figueres explained right at the start of the session, the meeting is bringing together leaders from around the world to share knowledge, while scaling innovations and solutions to accelerate benefits to the ocean.

If you missed it, here are some of the most insightful quotes.

"Ocean health is a moral imperative, a business imperative and a matter of global and national security. It should be recognized as a vital building block of peace and prosperity."

H.M. Queen Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

"The ocean knows no borders – you don’t have to use your passport – so we need to work along the lines of the natural marine ecosystems. Neighbouring countries must work together."

Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment and Climate of Sweden

"We have a responsibility to maintain the momentum on ocean action, and where required, to meet the targets met by international agreement."

Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean

"The ocean and nature can live without us, but humanity can’t live without nature."

Gloria Fluxà Thienemann, Vice-Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer, Iberostar Group

"We must address the climate crisis, if we're going to address the ocean. The number one issue with the ocean is acidification and the number one issue with acidification is carbon. Number one, and first and foremost, we must all become net-zero. Every company, every country, every organization, every individual must commit now to becoming net-zero."

Marc Benioff, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the ocean?

Our oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface and account for 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. We can't have a healthy future without healthy oceans - but they're more vulnerable than ever because of climate change and pollution.

Tackling the grave threats to our oceans means working with leaders across sectors, from business to government to academia.

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute, convenes the Friends of Ocean Action, a coalition of leaders working together to protect the seas. From a programme with the Indonesian government to cut plastic waste entering the sea to a global plan to track illegal fishing, the Friends are pushing for new solutions.

Climate change is an inextricable part of the threat to our oceans, with rising temperatures and acidification disrupting fragile ecosystems. The Forum runs a number of initiatives to support the shift to a low-carbon economy, including hosting the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, who have cut emissions in their companies by 9%.

Is your organisation interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Find out more here.

"We have failed, I think, to effectively communicate the overwhelming benefit-cost value of nature-based solutions. While degradation of nature contributes to instability and insecurity, we should recognize that nature is an ally on the road to peace."

H.M. Queen Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

"We already have the objectives and the roadmap that we need to follow. It's called Agenda 2030. We need to stick to that, because nothing fundamentally has changed due to the coronavirus crisis."

Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment and Climate of Sweden

"We all know that governments and corporations are facing very difficult decisions at this time of planning and managing the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. But, we must face the fact that prolonged global economic slowdown runs an associated risk of reduced commitment to climate action. Such reduction cannot be allowed to happen."

Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean

"The reality is that we're all deeply connected. Not only to each other, but to the ocean and the planet as well."

Marc Benioff, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce

"Tourism is at a forking path. It can either come back [from the coronavirus pandemic] as it was before, with the same level of impact. Or, choose a more sustainable option. Bringing a sustainability voice, integrating ocean management as part of a business strategy."

Gloria Fluxà Thienemann, Vice-Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer, Iberostar Group