BREST, FRANCE (11 February 2022) – Today, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will become the newest member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel). The announcement was made at the One Ocean Summit, hosted by the Government of France, an international summit dedicated to the preservation of the ocean where Heads of State and Government, scientists, business and finance actors, and the United Nations have gathered to strengthen international governance of the ocean.
France’s announcement of its shared ambition to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction, in alignment with the other 15 countries of the Ocean Panel, comes at a pivotal moment in the journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and increases global momentum towards a sustainable ocean economy that can protect ocean environments and create a more equitable and prosperous world. France has the world’s second largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which holds 10% of the world’s coral reefs and two of the world’s 34 marine and coastal biodiversity hotspots.
“France has decided to become the newest member country of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy,” said President Macron. “By joining the other members of the Panel, France is committed to ensure the treaties already existing to protect our ocean are implemented. We need to pave the way for the future, bringing together public and private sector stakeholders”.
Co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Norway and the President of Palau, the Ocean Panel also includes Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, and the United States of America and now France. Together, these 16 nations represent nearly 46 percent of the world’s coastlines, 42 percent of its EEZs, 25 percent of its fisheries, and 20 percent of its shipping fleet. The Ocean Panel is supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean. Based on the shared understanding of the need to improve the state of the ocean, the countries in the Ocean Panel are committed to developing national ocean plans with the aim of sustainably managing 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction.
Norwegian Prime Minster Jonas Gahr Støre, co-chair of the Ocean Panel, welcomed France’s announcement and said, “I am delighted to see President Macron and France commit to the ambitious agenda of the Ocean Panel. With a sustainably managed ocean, we will all stand better equipped to meet many of our joint challenges, such as climate change, plastic pollution and biodiversity loss. I look forward to having President Macron as a partner in this effort.”
Surangel S. Whipps, Jr., President of Palau and co-chair of the Ocean Panel, echoed this welcome of France to the Panel and said, “I continue to be encouraged that more world leaders are joining us in the transformation to a sustainable ocean economy where effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand to create a healthy ocean that can help solve global challenges such as climate change, poverty and gender inequalities.”
Countries have made considerable progress towards the ambitious new agenda for the ocean, Transformations for a sustainable ocean economy – A Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity in the last year, and have catalysed new action by a diverse range of actors (IGOs, NGOs, and private sector). Ocean Panel countries predicate their work on sound science as the foundation, learning from each other, and working together to achieve this vision. The addition of President Macron to the Ocean Panel, shortly after the joining of the President Biden during COP26 in November last year, will bolster international momentum towards a sustainable ocean economy.
About the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy
The members of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) lead nations of highly diverse oceanic, economic and political perspectives. Driven by a commitment to partnership, shared knowledge and science-informed policy, the Ocean Panel aims to advance the values underpinning a sustainable ocean economy—effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity. For more information visit www.oceanpanel.org and @OceanPanel
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