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The United States of America Joins the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

Nov 2, 2021
Source: Ocean Panel

GLASGOW (November 2, 2021) – Today, the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) welcomes the addition of a new member, the United States of America. This announcement by the U.S.A. comes at a timely moment during COP26 and further highlights the role which the ocean and the ocean economy can play both in combatting climate change and addressing a number of challenges which the planet faces.

U.S.A. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, who made the announcement in person at a meeting in Glasgow with the other 14 world leaders, remarked on the move to join the Ocean Panel earlier today and said: “I have long followed the work of the Ocean Panel, and I am in complete agreement that creating a sustainable ocean economy, informed by the latest science, is essential to secure a prosperous future for our communities and for our planet.” 

Co-chaired by Norway and Palau, the Ocean Panel includes Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Palau, and Portugal. Together, these 14 nations represent nearly 40 percent of the world’s coastlines, 30 percent of its exclusive economic zones (EEZs), 20 percent of its fisheries, and 20 percent of its shipping fleet. The Ocean Panel is supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean. Based on the shared understanding of the need to improve the state of the ocean, the countries in the Ocean Panel are committed to producing national sustainable ocean plans with the aim of sustainably managing 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction.

Norwegian Prime Minster Jonas Gahr Støre, and co-chair of the Ocean Panel, welcomed the United States announcement and he said, “We are building critical momentum behind the Panel’s ocean action agenda and with the United States joining I expect that we will continue to make great progress in realizing the transformation to a truly sustainable ocean economy where people and planet benefit.”

Surangel Whipps Jr, President of Palau and co-chair of the Ocean Panel, echoed this welcome of the United States and said: “I am encouraged that other world leaders are joining us in this transformation to a sustainable ocean economy where effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand to create a healthy ocean that can help solve global challenges such as climate change.” He went on to say, “In Palau we have a saying, ‘in order to reach your destination, we all must paddle in the same direction’. Let us continue to paddle in the same direction, and bring more nations along this ocean journey with us.”

In December 2020, the Ocean Panel presented ‘Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy – A Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity’. Ocean Panel countries are listening to science, learning from each together, and working together to achieve this vision and today, the entry of the United States of America into the Ocean Panel bolsters the international momentum towards a sustainable ocean economy.

About the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

The members of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) lead nations of highly diverse oceanic, economic and political perspectives. Driven by a commitment to partnership, shared knowledge and science-informed policy, the Ocean Panel aims to advance the values underpinning a sustainable ocean economy—effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity. For more information visit www.oceanpanel.org and @OceanPanel

For additional inquiries contact Katie.Wood@wri.org

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