Co-Chairs of Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum’s Ocean Action Agenda have released a statement, the Blue Thread for Ocean Action, a week ahead of the UN General Assembly, calling for renewed vigour in ocean action through the coming months.
Co-signed by Friends of Ocean Action Co-Chairs Isabella Lövin and Ambassador Peter Thomson, Friends of Ocean Action Director Kristian Teleki and Founding Member Marc Benioff, the statement highlights ambitious climate action as the next major priority to stop the decline in ocean health.
The statement, The Blue Thread for Ocean Action, notes:
“There has never been a greater need for concerted global ocean action, for the ocean’s health is under threat and without a healthy and thriving ocean there can be no healthy and thriving planet. Climate and weather regulation, oxygen, food, jobs, livelihoods, coastal defences, biodiversity loss and more – the plethora of reasons why humanity may not survive without a healthy ocean are by now familiar to most.”
The statement acknowledges strides of significant progress made so far this year, and lists key actions to turn those commitments into impact:
- UN Member States agreed in March at the UN Environment Assembly to forge an international, legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution – global leaders must now step up action to deliver international agreement on a robust treaty
- Following their historic agreement in June to phase out harmful fisheries subsidies, World Trade Organization Members must formally communicate their acceptance of the deal with the WTO in order to move ahead with entry-into-force
- After making significant progress in their talks in August, parties to the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction failed to reach agreement on a High Seas Treaty – the UN General Assembly must mandate an extension of the talks as a matter of urgency, for Parties to conclude the deal
The statement goes on to enumerate opportunities coming up next on the global calendar to continue this blue thread of ambitious ocean action through the coming months:
- At the COP27 climate conference in Egypt in November, leaders must elevate the ocean’s role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, increase finance to the sustainable blue economy, and advance global efforts to restore and protect blue carbon assets
- At the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Indonesia in November, leaders must mainstream the sustainable blue economy as a critical component of blue-green recovery, utilizing the emerging Ocean 20 (O20) stakeholder group as a supporting vehicle
- At the COP15 biodiversity conference in Canada in December, leaders must bridge their differences and agree to the protection of 30% of the planet by 2030 across both land and the ocean
The co-signatories of the new statement – Marc Benioff, Isabella Lövin, Kristian Teleki and Peter Thomson – conclude with a compelling rallying cry for global ocean action: “We entreat all UN Member States to play their part in achieving the positive outcomes of ocean action called for in this statement, thereby creating a blue thread of progress, sustainability, equity and hope for us all to follow in fidelity with generations to come.”
Gemma Parkes: Communications Lead, Friends of Ocean and Ocean Action Agenda, World Economic Forum, on firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 79 305 2977