Leaders of 14 major maritime nations announced on December 02, 2020, their commitment to achieve 100% sustainable ocean management of their national waters by 2025, acting on recommendations of a group of global experts co-chaired by Oregon State University marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco. “This is the result of nearly three years of work and represents a remarkable example of knowledge informing policy and action,” said Lubchenco, university distinguished professor in the OSU College of Science, whose group of science and policy experts was commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, known as the Ocean Panel for short. “The countries on the Ocean Panel are listening to science, learning from each other and working together. That’s a powerful combination.

“Phase 1 of the panel’s work was knowledge production,” Lubchenco added. “Phase 2 is policy and action, and that phase launches now. We can use the ocean wisely, rather than using it up, but only if we get serious about doing so. These documents point the way.”

Led by the leaders of Norway and Palau, the Ocean Panel also features heads of state and government from Portugal, Ghana, Namibia, Kenya, Chile, Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Fiji and Australia. Collectively, those nations represent nearly 40% of the world’s coastlines, 30% of the exclusive economic zones, 20% of the globe’s fisheries and 20% of maritime shipping. Together, their national waters cover 30 million square kilometers, a combined area roughly the size of Africa.

Lubchenco, in her role as Expert Group co-chair along with Norwegian oceanographer Peter Haugan of the University of Bergen and Indonesian economist Mari Elka Pangestu, helped coordinate more than 250 experts from 48 countries in the production of 19 peer-reviewed papers plus an Ocean Solutions Report to the Ocean Panel. The three co-chairs also published a paper this week (December 2) in the premier scientific journal Nature summarizing the knowledge produced and the policy commitments made.

Ocean panel website   High level panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy – Give it 100% campaign

‘Towards a sustainable ocean Economy – The ocean gives us life. It feeds us, entertains us connects us, inspires us and powers our success- Our well-being depends on a healthy ocean. It always has. It always will.

The pressures on the ocean are intense and growing – but we know recovery is possible. Crucially, a healthy ocean holds the solutions to many of the world’s challenges.

Putting sustainability at the heart of ocean management is essential for protection, production and prosperity that benefits people, nature and the economy.

The leaders of 14 countries have put forward a new ocean action agenda underpinned by sustainably managing 100% of national waters.

Click here to read more – bringing sustainability ideas to life

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