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

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

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.
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.
Full Report

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

Countries joining the Ocean Panel effort after 2020 may commit to the same goal within five years of joining, through guidance by Sustainable Ocean Plans.

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.


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 agenda, providing a unifying ’umbrella’ for national ocean-related governance.

This new guide identifies the hallmarks and 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.


 Nine Attributes of a Sustainable Ocean Plan 

 This guide identifies nine attributes of a Sustainable Ocean Plan – relevant in all contexts – that will lay the groundwork for maximum success and impact.

A Sustainable Ocean Plan is:

  1. Developed in an inclusive way so that all relevant interests are heard and addressed from the outset
  2. Integrative, coordinating between government agencies, ocean sectors and processes
  3. Iterative, in that it works for today whilst anticipating the changes of tomorrow
  4. Place-based, encompassing all marine and coastal areas within national waters
  5. Ecosystem-based, recognising the interactions within ecosystems and with people
  6. Knowledge-based, underpinned by the best available science and knowledge, including local and indigenous knowledge
  7. Politically endorsed by the national government at the highest levels
  8. Sufficiently financed over the long-term
  9. Sufficiently capacitated to ensure implementation
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