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Statement from Friends of Ocean Action: 2022 can be the year the world halts the decline in ocean health

Friends of Ocean Action, 02.02.2022

Members of Friends of Ocean Action have endorsed a statement released today calling for ambitious action in 2022 to achieve a healthy, thriving ocean and advance the Sustainable Development Goal for the ocean, SDG14.

Read the statement here, ‘No Healthy Planet without a Healthy Ocean’.

Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action, Ambassador Peter Thomson, said: “This can be the year the world halts the decline in the ocean’s health. Simply put, there can be no healthy planet without a healthy ocean, and the ocean’s health is measurably in decline. Therefore, we must not squander the confluence of game-changing opportunities for ocean health that 2022 presents.”

“With my fellow Friends of Ocean Action, I’m endorsing this action statement for 2022 in an urgent call to action to world leaders – urging them to seize the unprecedented opportunities in 2022 for transformational ocean action. A string of pivotal multilateral meetings is occurring in the coming months – from ending harmful fisheries subsidies and tackling plastic pollution, to protecting more of the ocean and improving governance of the high seas. If the international community achieves the desired positive outcomes from these meetings in full, 2022 will indeed be the year we stop the decline in the ocean’s health,” said Thomson.

Fellow Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action, HE Isabella Lövin, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, said: “We depend on the ocean for our ability to live and thrive, from providing food and livelihoods to buffering against climate change and generating the oxygen in every second breath we take. Meaningful, ambitious ocean action at the global scale has never been more urgent, and 2022 offers critical opportunities to achieve significant progress for a healthy ocean.”

To support the implementation of SDG14, the global community will convene at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on 27 June to 1 July 2022.

Read the Friends of Ocean Action statement here.

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UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.