The members of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy on Tuesday marked World Oceans Day and showcased the ocean as a solution to a more “resilient” and “prosperous” world.
“Today, we celebrate World Oceans Day under unprecedented circumstances, as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated health and economic challenges,” the group said in a joint statement by 14 countries including Norway, Canada, Australia and Japan.
The group detailed the economic and environmental benefits of the ocean that covers over 70% of the earth’s surface. It said it absorbs about a quarter of all carbon emissions, and captures more than 90% of the additional heat they generate, contributes over $2.5 trillion annually in value-added services, feeds over three billion people, provides a livelihood for over three billion people, and transports around 90% of world trade.
“It is also a source of renewable energy and key ingredients for fighting disease. And it can do more if we sustainably manage it,” the panel added.
The statement further explained that "effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand-in-hand in a sustainable ocean economy," investments in which the panel recommended.
“Investing in a sustainable ocean economy is an excellent deal: it has considerable benefits for the global economy, the ocean and societal well-being.”
The panel, in its commitment to the transition to a sustainable ocean economy, is working on a set of recommendations to this end, which it said is essential for jobs, food security, healthy people and ecosystems, a low-carbon world, equity, and resilience.
By Sibel Morrow