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Scientific Call for Ocean-based Action to Tackle the Climate Crisis


We are experts from ocean related disciplines from all regions and ocean basins of the world, convened under the auspices of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.  

We are deeply alarmed by the conclusions of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and the impact that anthropogenic climate change is having on the health of our ocean and ocean-dependent communities. 

Urgent action is required to safeguard the ocean’s critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate, feeding billions of people and driving the world’s economy. 

For too long the ocean has been relegated to being the victim of climate change. This view ignores the existence of a host of ocean-based solutions - both natural and technological – that are underpinned by science and able to support global mitigation and adaptation efforts. 

As scientific understanding of the ocean has increased, its central role in improving the health, wealth and well-being of people has become clearer. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development can be a catalyst for identifying and meeting the most urgent ocean knowledge needs to unlock even greater innovation and opportunity to respond to the climate crisis. 

The climate crisis is too urgent to continue to discount the range of measures and innovations found within the ocean and ocean economy. We must utilise every part of our economy to tackle climate change. 

We call on all Parties to the UNFCCC to: 

  • Incorporate ocean-based measures in mitigation and adaptation strategies, plans and policies, taking into account the best available science and ensuring sustainability.
  • Account for all ocean-based sources and sinks in national inventories and accounting frameworks in accordance with IPCC guidance, including the 2013 IPCC Wetlands Supplement. 
  • Commit to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction and protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 to build the resilience of our oceans and ocean-dependent communities and harness ocean-based mitigation opportunities. 
  • Increase investment in ocean science capacity to fill data gaps and digitise information on ocean-based sources and sinks, including coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses, coral reefs, salt marshes and kelp. 


Dedi S. Adhuri 
Research Centre for Society and Culture,
National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia  

Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali 
Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa, Ghana 

Edward H. Allison 
WorldFish, Malaysia 

Dr. Diva Amon 
SpeSeas, Trinidad and Tobago 

Kwasi Appeaning Addo 
University of Ghana, Ghana    

Ward Appeltans 
Intergovernmental Oceanographic
Commission of UNESCO, Belgium 

Zainal Arifin 
Indonesia Institute of Sciences, Indonesia  

Sophie Arnaud-Haond  
Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and
Conservation, University of Montpellier; 
Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation 
de la Mer; Centre National de la Recherche
Scientifique; Institut de Recherche pour le
Développement, France  

Dra. Inés Arroyo-Quiroz 
Centro Regional de Investigaciones 
Multidisciplinarias, Universidad Nacional 
Autónoma de México, Mexico 

Lisa T. Ballance, Ph.D 
Oregon State University, USA 

Dominique Benzaken 
Australian National Centre for Ocean
Resources and Security, University
of Wollongong, Australia

Robert Blasiak
Stockholm Resilience Centre,
Stockholm University, Sweden

Dr. Wiebren J. Boonstra 
Natural Resources and Sustainable
Development, Department of Earth Science, 
Uppsala University, Sweden 

Rodrigo H. Bustamante 
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation, Australia 

Reniel Cabral 
University of California Santa Barbara, USA 

Adelino V.M. Canário 
Centre of Marine Sciences,
University of Algarve, Portugal 

Ling Cao 
School of Oceanography,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China 

Dr. Thierry Chopin 
Seaweed and Integrated Multi-Trophic
Aquaculture Laboratory, University of
New Brunswick; Chopin Coastal Health
Solutions Inc., Canada 

Joachim Claudet 
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France 

Duncan Copeland 
Trygg Mat Tracking, Norway  

Professor Christopher Costello 
University of California Santa Barbara, USA 

Philippe Cury 
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France 

Dr. Minhan Dai
Xiamen University, China 

Helen Ding 
World Resources Institute, The Netherlands  

Brajesh Kumar Dubey, Ph.D 
Department of Civil Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India 

Carlos M. Duarte 
Red Sea Research Center and Computational
Biosciences Research Center, King Abdullah
University of Science and Technology, 
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 

Elva Escobar-Briones 
Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y 
Limnología Ciudad Universitaria, 
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Mexico 

Dr. Katharina Fabricius 
Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia 

Fabio Favoretto 
Centro para la Biodiversidad Marina y la Conservación A.C.; Universidad 
Autónoma de Baja California Sur, Mexico 

Christopher Free 
University of California Santa Barbara, USA 

Steven Gaines 
University of California Santa Barbara, USA 

Elsa Galarza 
Universidad del Pacífico, Peru 

Stefan Gelcich 
Instituto Milenio en Socio-Ecologia Costera; 
Center of Applied Ecology and Sustainability,
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Chile 

Christopher Golden 
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan
School of Public Health, USA 

Kristine Grimsrud, Ph.D 
Research Department, Statistics Norway, Norway 

Professor Patrick N. Halpin, Ph.D 
Nicholas School of the Environment and Duke Marine Lab, Duke University, USA 

Britta Denise Hardesty 
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia 

Peter M Haugan, Ph.D 
Institute of Marine Research, University of Bergen, Norway 

Kelly Hoareau
James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, Univerity of Seychelles, Seychelles

Gakushi Ishimura  
Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Japan 

Dr. Jenna Jambeck 
University of Georgia, USA 

Professor Marcel Jaspars 
University of Aberdeen, UK 

Svein Jentoft 
Faculty of Bioscience, Fisheries and Economics, The Artic University of Norway, Norway 

Dr. James Kairo 
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research institute, Kenya  

Dorte Krause-Jensen 
Department Ecoscience and Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark 

Joy A. Kumagai 
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Germany  

Jim Leape  
Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, USA 

Amanda Leland 
Environmental Defense Fund, USA 

Lisa A. Levin 
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, USA 

Dr. Elizabeth Lindstad 
SINTEF Ocean, Norway 

Professor Junguo Liu 
Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China 

Tony Long
Global Fishing Watch, USA  

Priscila F.M. Lopes 
Fishing Ecology, Management and Economics Group, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil 

Catherine E. Lovelock 
The University of Queensland, Australia 

Ms. Sarika Maharaj 
Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Trinidad and Tobago 

Dr. Michael Melnychuk 
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, USA 

Marie Antonette J. Meñez 
Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, The Philippines 

Mark Michelin 
CEA Consulting, USA 

Professor Karyn Morrissey 
Department of Technology, Management and Economics Sustainability Division, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark 

Umi Muawanah, Ph.D 
The Agency for Marine Affairs and Fisheries Research, Indonesia  

Mari Myksvoll 
Institute of Marine Research, Norway 

Aidin Niamir  
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Institute, Germany  

Finn Gunnar Nielsen 
Geophysical Institute and Bergen Offshore Wind Centre, University of Bergen, Norway  

Eliza Northrop 
World Resources Institute, UK 

David Obura 
CORDIO, Kenya 

Elena Ojea 
Future Oceans Lab, Centro de Investigación Mariña, Universidade de Vigo, Spain 

Dr. Bethan O’Leary  
University of Exeter, UK 

Ayodeji Olukoju, Ph.D 
University of Lagos, Nigeria 

Professor Henrik Österblom 
Stockholm Resilience Centre,
Stockholm University, Sweden 

Dr. Robert Parker 
GHG Emissions, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, The Netherlands

Dr. Karen Raubenheimer 
Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong, Australia 

Budy P. Resosudarmo 
Australian National University, Australia 

Gabriel Reygondeau 
Changing Ocean Research Unit, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Canada 

Professor Callum Roberts 
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, UK 

Bangabandhu Chair Professor Joyashree Roy  
School of Resource, Environment and Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand; Jadavpur University, India 

Tanya Brodie Rudolph 
Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa  


Dr. Hide Sakaguchi 
Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan  

Dr. Megan Saunders
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia 

Dr. Andy Steven 
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia 

Martin Stuchtey 
SYSTEMIQ, Germany 

Rashid Sumaila 
Fisheries Economics Research Unit, University of British Columbia, Canada 

Albert G.J. Tacon, Ph.D Aquahana LLC, Honolulu, USA 

Louise Teh 
Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Canada  

Torsten Thiele  
Global Ocean Trust, Germany 

Associate Professor Dr. To Thi Hien
Faculty of Environment, University of Science, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

Steven Trent 
Environmental Justice Foundation, UK 

Amy Trice 
Ocean Conservancy, USA 

Sebastian Unger 
Ocean Governance Research Group, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany 

Professor Hennie Van As 
Nelson Mandela University, South Africa; Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security; University of Wollongong, Australia 

Enriqueta Velarde 
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Pesquerías, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico 

Adrien Vincent 

Vu Thanh Ca 
Faculty of Environment, Ha Noi University of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam 

Dr. Melissa Walsh 
Marine Conservation Finance Consulting, Australia 

Sandra Whitehouse 
Ocean Conservancy, USA 

Chris Wilcox 
Oceans and Atmosphere Business Unit, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia 

Jan-Gunnar Winther 
Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic, Norway  

Emma Witbooi 
Public Law, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Tony Worby 
Flourishing Oceans, Minderoo Foundation, Australia  

Professor Rachel Wynberg 
Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa 

Junjie Zhang 
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University; Environmental Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, China