MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (9 May 2022) – Representatives from the 16 member countries of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) came together for the 25th Member Representative meeting today.
Co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Norway and the President of Palau, the Ocean Panel also includes Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, and the United States of America. Together, these 16 nations represent approximately 46 percent of the world’s coastlines, 42 percent of its Economic Exclusive Zones, 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 Sustainable Ocean Plans with the aim of sustainably managing 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction.
This meeting marks the first in-person representative meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as well as a pivotal point in 2022, hailed as the Ocean Super Year. Following on the heels of two events hosted by Panel members –the Our Ocean Conference which was held in mid-April this year in Koror, Palau and preceding the United Nations Ocean Conference which will be held in late-June in Lisbon, Portugal – the representative meeting provides a key opportunity to reflect on progress being made towards the ocean action agenda and opportunities to accelerate delivery or ensure continued momentum.
About the participation of Mexico in this Panel, the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has clearly stated that “the transformation of Mexico brings general well-being to our population, therefore, it is essential for our country to take advantage of the resources of our seas and coasts in the most respectful and responsible manner. Being part of this Ocean Panel which gives us the opportunity to achieve social justice for those communities that depend on the health of the ocean, with a very clear framework that will help us to protect our natural resources.”
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, and also Ocean Panel Co-Chair welcomed the opportunity to meet and said “I am encouraged by the dedication and cooperation within the Panel to build momentum toward achieving a sustainably managed ocean. Our aim is a future where we all are better poised to tackle global challenges such as climate change and food security, and identify ocean based solutions where both people and planet benefit.”
Commenting on the meeting the President of Palau, and Ocean Panel Co-Chair Surangel Whipps Jr. said, “in Palau, there is a saying, ‘in order to reach your destination, we all must paddle in the same direction’. At meetings of the Ocean Panel , we are reminded that only through continued collaboration will we be able to enhance progress toward our shared aim of a truly sustainable and just ocean economy where effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand-in-hand.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, celebrated this meeting by appointing that “the current vision of the Mexican foreign policy considers as a priority to reach a common global agreement to achieve a sustainable management of the Ocean. An agreement that, although it must take advantage of the benefits that the ocean gives us, must also guarantee the well-being of present and future generations. We are proud of the great leadership that Mexico has had in this matter to ground the vision of protection, prosperity and sustainable production for our shared seas and coasts, which will be translated into tangible benefits for our communities, especially those that depend directly on the ocean”.
Head of the Secretariat of the Ocean Panel, and Global Director of the Ocean Programme at World Resources Institute, Kristian Teleki welcomed the opportunity to meet and said: “The need for decisive action to stem the decline in health of the ocean is urgent. The collective leadership shown by the countries of the Ocean Panel is crucial for elevating ocean issues on the international stage and driving action for a sustainable ocean economy where people & planet – the whole blue planet – can prosper
The Ocean Super year is a plethora of opportunities for the Ocean Panel to highlight the solutions the ocean presents and the importance of transitioning to a sustainable ocean economy where sustainable production, effective protection and equitable prosperity go hand-in-hand. The representative meeting held in Mexico City is a crucial milestone for Panel members to reflect, collaborate, and share perspectives on emerging initiatives, sustainable ocean plans, and the widening impact of the Panel.
Martha Delgado, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of Mexico, commenting on this meeting stated that “it is a great honor for Mexico to host this twenty-fifth Sherpa Meeting of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. We are excited because it is through these spaces that we can together strengthen the strategic collaboration between member countries to meet our goal of moving to an effective sustainable ocean economy. I assure you that you can find in Mexico a valuable ally to materialize the new ocean action agenda promoted by the Panel”.
About the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy
Established in September 2018, the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) is a unique initiative made up of serving world leaders who are building momentum for a sustainable ocean economy in which effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand. By working collaboratively with a wide array of stakeholders the Ocean Panel aims to identify bold solutions that bridge ocean health, wealth and equity and accelerate and scale responsive action worldwide. For more information visit www.oceanpanel.org and @OceanPanel.
For additional inquiries contact Katie.Wood@wri.org