Ocean Solutions That Benefit People, Nature and the Economy

'Ocean Solutions that Benefit People, Nature and the Economy' ilustrates how a sustainable ocean economy can create a healthy ocean that provides solutions to global challenges.

The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (The Ocean Panel) has published a joint action plan to ensure a sustainable ocean management. According to the plan, investing $2.8 trillion today in four ocean-based solutions—offshore wind production, sustainable ocean-based food production, decarbonisation of international shipping, and conservation and restoration of mangroves—would yield a net benefit of $15.5 trillion by 2050.

The Ocean panel comprises members from Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Jamaica, Japan, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Portugal and Palau. With the new action plan, the 14 world leaders of the Ocean Panel have committed to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction by 2025.They also encourage all leaders of coastal and ocean states across the globe to join in committing to the 100% goal so that all Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) are sustainably managed by 2030.

Maintaining a healthy ocean will require action on many fronts and across multiple sectors. The action plan suggests five building blocks:

  • Using data to drive decision-making
  • Engaging in goal-oriented ocean planning
  • De-risking finance and using innovation to mobilise investment
  • Stopping land-based pollution
  • Changing ocean accounting so that it reflects the true value of the ocean

Putting these building blocks in place would enable change across the entire ocean economy. According to the report, sustainable ocean management could create 12 million new jobs by 2030 and produce 6 times more sustainable seafood by 2050. The ocean could also generate 40 times more renewable energy by 2050, mainly from offshore wind, and contribute one-fifth of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions needed to keep the world within the 1.5°C temperature rise limit set by the Paris Agreement goals by 2050. In addition, it would  help lift millions of people out of poverty, improve equity and gender balance, increase economic and environmental resilience, build the industries of the future and provide low-carbon fuel and feed for activities on land.

The report builds on the latest scientific research, analyses and debates from around the world—including the insights from 16 Blue Papers and 3 special reports commissioned by the Ocean Panel.

By Anna Lygre Solvang