Page Title
Sustainable Ocean Plans

Page Subtitle
A tool to progress towards a sustainable ocean economy through an integrated planning approach.

100% Sustainable Ocean Management: An Introduction to Sustainable Ocean Plans

In 2020, the members of the Ocean Panel announced their shared ambition to sustainably manage 100% of ocean areas under their national jurisdiction, guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans, by 2025.

Countries joining the Ocean Panel effort after 2020 may commit to develop and be guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans within five years of joining, with the aim of sustainably managing 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction. In addition, they urged all coastal and ocean states to join them in this commitment so that by 2030 all ocean areas under national jurisdiction are sustainably managed. 

To make this aim of 100% a reality, the Ocean Panel commissioned this new guide 100% Sustainable Ocean Management: An Introduction to Sustainable Ocean Plans launched on 7 December 2021. 

The pressures and opportunities faced by nations pursuing 100% sustainable ocean management are ever-changing, but solutions exist and the time to put them into practice is now.


About the Guide to Sustainable Ocean Plans

A Sustainable Ocean Plan aims to guide public and private sector decision-makers on how to sustainably manage a nation’s ocean area under national jurisdiction to advance long-term economic and social development—by protecting the natural marine ecosystems that underpin that development. It lays the foundation for implementing the Ocean Panel’s Transformations, providing a unifying ’umbrella’ for national ocean-related governance.

This new Ocean Panel-commissioned guide identifies the hallmarks or attributes of a Sustainable Ocean Plan and suggests initial steps that ocean and coastal states can take to get started on, or to accelerate, sustainable ocean planning.

The guide was prepared by a group of leading experts from around the world under the coordination of the Ocean Panel Secretariat and subjected to a rigorous peer review process. A draft of this guide was improved with input from the Ocean Panel country representatives and technical teams during a Sustainable Ocean Plan workshop held in April 2021 as well as subsequent in-country consultations.

To support countries with Sustainable Ocean Plans the Ocean Action 2030 coalition was convened to provide the technical and financial assistance that countries may need to develop and implement their plans.



A recording of the launch event, featuring Ocean Panel country representatives, authors of the newly-launched guide and members of the new Ocean Action 2030 coalition taken 7 December 2021.


Nine attributes of a Sustainable Ocean Plan 

This Ocean Panel-commissioned guide identifies nine attributes of a Sustainable Ocean Plan – relevant in all contexts – that can help set up plans for maximum success and impact. A Sustainable Ocean Plan is: 

  • Developed in an inclusive way so that all relevant interests are heard and addressed from the outset

  • Integrative, coordinating between government agencies, ocean sectors and processes

  • Iterative, in that it works for today whilst anticipating the changes of tomorrow

  • Place-based, encompassing all marine and coastal areas within national waters

  • Ecosystem-based, recognising the interactions within ecosystems and with people

  • Knowledge-based, underpinned by the best available science and knowledge, including local and indigenous knowledge

  • Politically endorsed by the national government at the highest levels

  • Sufficiently financed over the long-term and sufficiently capacitated to ensure implementation