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Scientific Call For Ocean-Based Action to Tackle the Climate Crisis

Nov 2, 2021
Source: Ocean Panel

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:

  1. Incorporate ocean-based measures in mitigation and adaptation strategies, plans and policies, taking into account the best available science and ensuring sustainability.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
      SYSTEMIQ, France
    • 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
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