We have failed collectively as world leaders, as civil society, as business wo/men, as researchers, as entrepreneurs, to take action agaist the deeply alarming global emergency the Ocean is facing.
So what are the results of the UN Ocean Conference?
The urgency to act
"We have about 8 years to revert the unacceptable future our grandkids will live in: with fires and famine, war and natural disasters. It's time those with money partner up with those who don't have it and act to make the implementation of solutions possible".
So what do we have to do now? To give back to the Ocean, what it has given us: life. Consider you impact on nature, everybody has an impact! AND EVERYBODY HAS POWER. This is the time, CRITICAL TIME, as never before to take action. Never again we'll get the best chance ever to find a place within the natural systems to keep us alive.
- The Protecting Our Planet Challenge will invest at least USD 1 billion to support the creation, expansion and management of marine protected area and Indigenous and locally governed marine and coastal areas by 2030.
- The European Investment Bank will extend an additional EUR 150 million across the Caribbean Region as part of the Clean Oceans Initiative to improve climate resilience, water management and solid waste management.
- The Global Environment Facility approved a $25 million grant towards Colombia’s marine protected areas.
- The Development Bank of Latin America announced a voluntary commitment of USD 1.2 billion to support projects to benefit the ocean in the region.
- Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance announced a multimillion-dollar global search for the next generation of projects to build resilience of coastal communities and finance through finance and insurance products.
- Marine Protected Areas and Pollution
- Portugal committed to ensure that 100% of the marine area under Portuguese sovereignty or jurisdiction is assessed as being in Good Environmental State and classify 30% of the national marine areas by 2030.
- Kenya is currently developing a national blue economy strategic plan, inclusive and multistakeholder-oriented. Kenya also committed to developing a national action plan on sea-based marine plastic litter.
- India committed to a Coastal Clean Seas Campaign and will work toward a ban on single-use plastics, beginning with plastic bags.
- Science and Innovation
- Sweden will support enhanced scientific cooperation, including by providing USD 400,000 in 2022 to IOC UNESCO for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in support of work on SDG 14 target 3.
- The Alliance of Small Island Developing States launched the Declaration for the Enhancement of Marine Scientific Knowledge, Research Capacity and Transfer of Marine Technology to Small Island Developing States.
- Climate Action
- USA and Norway announced a Green Shipping Challenge for COP 27.
- Singapore is also championing green shipping, encouraging carbon accounting by shipping companies, and research on low-carbon maritime fuels.
- Chile is working with specialized centers to develop a network of green corridors for maritime transport in order to achieve zero carbon shipping.
Is this enough?
Well, NO. Here is why
- WE NEED MONEY: according to Karen Sack, the Executive Director for the Ocean Risk and Resillience Action Alliance, "less than 0.01% of the total budget spent on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, is spent on Goal 14: Life Below the Water".
- WE NEED A MENTALITY CHANGE: Quoting Tobias Troll, Marine Policy Director with Seas At Risk, "We must stop the mentality of exploitation" and instead RISE UP:
- R - Restore Ocean Life
- I - Invest immediately in a net-zero carbon emission future
- S - Speed up the transition to a circular economy
- E - Empower and support coastal communities
- U - Unite for stronger global ocean governance
- P- Protect at least 30% of the Ocean by 2030.
- WE NEED POLITICAL WILL: From 15-26 August, 2022, the 5th and final round of talks negotiating session for a high seas treaty for biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) is taking place and political will is needed to put conservation first. As Lisa Speer from the Natural Resources Defense Council from the US said:
"The most single thing we can do for the Ocean is curving carbon emissions. The other main thing we can do is protect and restore biodiversity".