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Tracking Blue: From Ambition to Action for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

Full Report

The First Progress Report from The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

In 2020, the Ocean Panel released the Transformations, an ambitious ocean action agenda to transform how we produce, protect and prosper from the ocean. This agenda includes the shared ambition by all participating countries to sustainably manage 100% of their national ocean area. It also sets out priority actions across five critical areas – wealth, health, equity, finance, knowledge – to achieve a sustainable ocean economy by 2030.

Turning commitments into action

Ocean Panel countries have pledged significant ocean related commitments on international platforms, such as the Our Ocean Conference and the UN Ocean Conference; key to catalysing action, driving investments, and delivering impact in priority areas.

The first report of progress towards the Panel’s transformative agenda shows that the number of country commitments has continued to increase each year demonstrating steadfast leadership by the member countries.

Collectively, these commitments by Panel members support the delivery of almost 2/3rds of the actions identified in the Transformations, as priorities to advance by 2030.

The report also shows that these commitments are followed by meaningful action, with the vast majority either completed (54 percent) or in progress (40 percent), sending a strong signal for effective implementation and accountability.

The Ocean Panel has highlighted the link between a healthy, sustainable ocean economy and the achievement of the wider sustainable development agenda. Analysis in the report suggests that the broadening focus on action by the Ocean Panel does not only advance ocean outcomes but contributes to achieving 61 targets across all 17 goals within the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

Realising 100% sustainable ocean management

The steps that the Ocean Panel countries have taken towards the achievement of 100% sustainable ocean management show how the agendas of achieving ecosystem health, food and energy security, local community prosperity, economic growth and sustainability can not only complement but also reinforce each other. Developing and implementing a robust, effective Sustainable Ocean Plan will provide for the long-term health of ocean ecosystems as an underpinning for thriving economies and societies.

Looking forward

To achieve a sustainable ocean economy and to build critical foundations for economic recovery and resilience, concerted action across all five areas of the Panel’s agenda is needed, at scale and pace. While great strides have been made, the report reflects that progress is currently uneven and highlights the need for greater global attention and action in the areas of ocean equity and ocean finance. In view of the Panel’s ambition that member countries should have a Sustainable Ocean Plan in place by 2025, and all ocean and coastal states by 2030, efforts need to be stepped up, including effective outreach to countries outside the Panel, to accelerate this transition together.

Note: Countries joining the Ocean Panel effort after 2020 may commit to develop and be guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans within 5 years of joining, with the aim of sustainably managing 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction

Ocean Panel countries around the world have been taking action to advance the ocean action agenda according to their local needs, capacities and priorities.

 Browse the ‘Transformations in Action’ to experience the breadth of progress being made globally.

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