Areas of Action
The ocean gives us life.
We rely on it for food, livelihoods, climate resilience and recreation. Ensuring the longevity of our planet’s life force requires decisive and collective action.
Our Ocean will focus on six Areas of Action, convening partners from across the globe to identify solutions to manage marine resources, increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change and safeguard its health for generations to come.
Advancing Marine Protected Areas for Communities, Ecosystems, and Climate
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a tried and tested approach to conserve ocean biodiversity and ecosystems, improve long-term food security, and protect ocean-based livelihoods. Despite this success, less than 8% of the ocean is protected by MPAs, which led to a call for 30% ocean protection by 2030 at the CBD COP15 meeting. Protecting vast ocean seascapes by the development of Large Scale Marine Protected Areas (LSMPAs) is one of our best chances to achieve this conservation target. This panel will highlight the unique benefits, challenges and opportunities that come with successful large scale ocean conservation. With a particular call towards the development of regional networks of LSMPAs to conserve global ocean biodiversity, facilitate climate resilience, maintain marine resources, and support livelihoods.
Tackling Marine Pollution
Many coastal environments globally have been transformed by marine pollution. In addition to plastic pollution, eutrophication is acute in most coastal systems across the globe and has led to habitat loss, production decreases and even ocean dead zones. The majority of pollutants that impact the ocean originate from land-based sources and the cumulative impacts from localized coastal pollution can be far-reaching. The most effective way in combatting ocean pollution and its effects is to stop the pollutant at the source. This panel will focus on opportunities and approaches to stop pollution at its source as well as highlight the need for effective local management of coastal catchments.
Confronting the Ocean-Climate Crisis or Towards an Ocean Solution for Climate Change
Adverse impacts from climate change are a reality across the globe and the recent COP26 summit recognized that we are facing a global climate emergency. As we continue to track environmental change and its consequences, there is a growing need to realize and embrace opportunities for climate change resilience and adaptation. Our ocean is one of our best defense mechanisms against the impacts of climate change. This panel will feature climate change mitigation and adaptation success stories, as well as provide a platform to find and commit to those solutions we need for a climate change resilient future.
Creating Sustainable Blue Economies
The global economy was left in a state of shock by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a growing realization that we are reliant on a healthy and productive environment. The ocean economy in particular felt the resultant effects of the pandemic, and those that depend on the ocean were left vulnerable. As the world starts to rebuild, we have a unique opportunity to build back better with sustainability linked with innovation fully built into the recovery plan. This will allow us to develop ocean economies that are sustainable, equitable and resilient. Blue recovery is integral to this process and this panel will focus on priority opportunities for a blue stimulus.
Advancing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture
The terms fisheries and aquaculture are mostly associated with large-scale commercial operations and industry. This, however, leaves coastal communities that depend on the ocean and its resources for their livelihoods, mostly neglected. A key global priority over the next decade(s) is to support the viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture (SSFA) to ensure that the unique needs of SSFA are realized by governments, industry and funding agencies. This session will highlight small-scale fishers and farmers from across the globe by placing a spotlight on actions needed for sustainable, equitable, profitable and resilient SSFA.
Achieving a Safe, Just and Secure Ocean
Successful and effective ocean surveillance and monitoring comes with a unique set of challenges, ranging from the sheer scale of the surveillance effort needed to the difficulty in tracking and prosecuting offenders. In addition, maritime security cuts across borders and transnational cooperation is integral in achieving a safe, just and secure ocean for all. Innovative solutions with sufficient financing and resources are needed to combat IUU fishing, security threats, human exploitation, and unlawful activities. Many countries in the developing world also have limited resources or financing for effective ocean surveillance. This panel will showcase technological, financial and legislative innovations that can be used to achieve effective and sustainable ocean surveillance.