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Joint Statement by Ocean Panel Leaders at the United Nations Ocean Conference

Jun 27, 2022
Source: Ocean Panel

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda articulates a vision for the world we want. A world that ensures no one is left behind, where everyone has access to nutritious food, renewable energy, clean air and water, opportunities for an education and decent work.

Approximately 40% of the world’s population live adjacent to the ocean and are directly dependent on its health and functioning for their economies and survival. A healthy ocean is also central to solving the climate crisis and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for the benefit of all people and a thriving global economy.

We are at a turning point. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the necessity of countries working together to address common challenges, and achieve the future envisaged by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. It has provided an opportunity to change course and reset our economies as we work to recover. As articulated by the United Nations Secretary General in Our Common Agenda, we need to strengthen and accelerate the 2030 Agenda and make a tangible difference in people’s lives now and for future generations through greater global cooperation and better management of activities that affect the ocean, its resources, and ecosystems.

All life on this planet depends on a healthy ocean. It regulates our climate and weather, has generated half our oxygen, provides food and livelihoods for billions of people, and drives our global economy through transport and trade. The diversity of species found in the ocean will also likely provide new resources and ecosystems services for humanity in the future.

The ocean is also a source of solutions to the sustainable development challenges we face. Investing now in a sustainable ocean economy can improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.

We, the members of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, urge all countries to harness the power of the ocean as a catalyst to deliver all 17 Sustainable Development Goals by:

  • Accelerating ocean-based climate solutions to reduce greenhouse gases and the impacts associated with climate change and improve coastal adaptation and resilience, including the conservation and restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems.
  • Mobilizing actions for a healthy ocean, to increase the contributions of sustainably sourced, safe and nutritious food from the ocean, including from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, to feed the future and improve global health and nutrition and combating threats to food security and the restoration and sustainable harvest of wild fish stocks, such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
  • Supporting decent work and economic opportunity through investing in socially inclusive and ethical, sustainable ocean industries and supply chains, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Investing in sustainable coastal and marine tourism as a vehicle for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Scaling existing technologies and developing and encourage new and emerging technologies for ocean-based renewable energy to enable access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  • Reducing inequalities through the creation of socially inclusive opportunities and measures that support the rights of all workers and eliminate trafficking of persons and contrabands across supply chains in ocean industries, and supporting coastal communities.
  • Protecting the ocean from pollution with circular economy approaches and catalysing improvements in green shipping.

To enable countries to harness these benefits, it is imperative that finance to undertake ocean-based climate action and support the transition to a sustainable ocean economy is accessible, including to developing countries and particularly to Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries. This includes concessionary development finance as appropriate.

We must increase our understanding of the protective value of the ocean and its processes.

We must strengthen institutions and structures at the global and regional level to better coordinate efforts to protect and promote sustainable ocean economies and a rules-based maritime order.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to invest in a healthy ocean and sustainable ocean economy which will produce returns that benefit people and planet and where protection, production and prosperity go hand in hand.

We reiterate our shared commitment to develop and be guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans with the aim of sustainably managing 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction and urge all coastal and ocean states to do the same.

Our well-being depends on a healthy ocean. It always has. It always will. We are all ocean citizens.


Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister of Australia
Fumio Kishida
Prime Minister of Japan
Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Uhuru Kenyatta
President of Kenya
Gabriel Boric
President of Chile
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
President of Mexico
Frank Bainimarama
Prime Minister of Fiji
Hage Gottfried Geingob
President of Namibia
Emmanuel Macron
President of France
Jonas Gahr Støre
Prime Minister of Norway
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of Ghana
Surangel Whipps, Jr.
President of Palau
Joko Widodo
President of Indonesia
António Costa
Prime Minister of Portugal
Andrew Michael Holness
Prime Minister of Jamaica
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States of America


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