The Ocean Panel – an ambitious plan to protect the world’s oceans (and an announcement!)

“The living world cannot operate without a healthy ocean, and neither can we”

David Attenborough

This is a sentiment evidently shared by the 14 countries of the Ocean Panel, who announced ambitious plans to sustainably manage 100% of the oceans under their national jurisdictions by 2025. This announcement comes at a pivotal moment in the climate crisis and is a welcome spark of hope and positive news for measurable change.

The oceans are beautiful environments home to more than half of all life on earth. From the water we drink to the food we eat and the air we breathe, the oceans are linked to all aspects of our lives – it even drives our weather, stabilises the climate and is critical in our battle to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. The detrimental impact of human activities on our ocean’s health is irrefutable, and we have been taking it for granted for far too long.

Established in September 2018 with the aim of accelerating action worldwide, the heads of states from the 14 nations had planned 14 gatherings to discuss how to chart a course to a sustainable ocean economy. While these plans to meet were upended by the pandemic, it did not halt the progress towards their goals. Through the now ubiquitous use of video conferencing, the group endorsed and released details of a far-reaching pact that aims to protect the world’s oceans. In addition to pledging to sustainably manage 100% of the oceans under their jurisdiction by 2025, they have also vowed to grant 30% of their oceans marine protected status by 2030.

The Ocean Panel members, and the coasts and oceans under their jurisdictions.
Source: Riley D Champine at National Geographic

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt, you can read the full article on the WorkingAbroad blog where I joined their team as a volunteer blog writer in December.

I will be writing about an article a month for their blog site around the topics of the environment, wildlife conservation and more. Head to their blog to read some amazing stories about what life is like on the Galapagos during the pandemic and the trials of the New Zealand Kakapo parrot.

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