At COP28 in Dubai, countries have signed onto a joint declaration that recognises the urgent need for climate action to protect the ocean’s health, and the importance of ocean-based climate solutions to rapidly reduce emissions.

The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel), consisting of Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Palau, Portugal, Seychelles, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and the Secretariat of the Organization of American States, collectively reiterated their commitment to achieve a sustainable ocean economy by sustainably managing 100% of their respective national ocean jurisdictions.


Photo: Cat Mastro


It is important to note that this declaration reflects only the political commitments of participating nations, and it is not an international agreement.

Development of sustainable ocean plans

The Ocean Panel’s action agenda, ‘Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy’, laid out by the Panel in 2020, charts a course towards achieving protection, production and prosperity through transformations across five areas including ocean wealth, ocean health, ocean equity, ocean knowledge and ocean finance. A central tenet of this agenda is a commitment by each country to develop and implement Sustainable Ocean Plans.

A Sustainable Ocean Plan is a policy tool to guide the sustainable management of a nation’s ocean area under national jurisdiction to advance long-term economic and social development — by protecting the natural marine ecosystems that underpin that development, and by using the ocean’s resources sustainably.

The Ocean Panel reaffirm their commitment to the adoption of ambitious climate measures to align the world with the goals of the Paris Agreement and to restore ocean health, and urge fellow nations:

  1. To consider, as appropriate, ocean-based action in their national climate goals and in the implementation of these goals, including but not limited to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), long-term strategies and adaptation communications.
  2. To commit to the goal of sustainable management of 100% of ocean areas under national jurisdiction, guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans.
  3. To develop Sustainable Ocean Plans as a vehicle to accelerate the implementation of ocean-based climate actions, and to incorporate and strengthen ocean-based climate actions in relevant strategies, plans and policies, acknowledging the urgency and significance of sustainable ocean management by 2030.

The full declaration can be read here.

No Comment

Comments are closed.