The future of our world’s ocean is at risk, and so is the critical role it plays in supporting life on Earth and human well-being, as well as regulating the climate.

The ocean provides oxygen, food, energy, water and raw materials. It offers remarkable cultural services and is a source of jobs and economic activity across our planet. Despite its importance, there is a continuous degradation of the ocean mainly due to pollution and acidification.

Land-based human activities contribute an important share on impacts to the marine environment. For example roughly 80 per cent of the marine and coastal pollution originates on land; still, there are very few, if any, truly effective governance mechanisms that take account of land-ocean interactions.

Without a healthy ocean all the services it provides will be disrupted and the consequences will be dire. Careful management of our oceans is crucial and it is now the time to take action.

In this webinar, the International Resource Panel launched its assessment report 'Governing coastal resources: Implications for a Sustainable Blue Economy' and discussed the challenges and opportunities for our oceans and coastal resources with experts.


Speakers' quotes

"One thing that has become increasingly obvious is that a truly Sustainable Blue Economy is that ocean science must be the foundation upon which its achievement is built. Over the years ahead, we will have some very important decisions to make about our relationship with this planet. We will need to make those decisions on the basis of the most trustworthy and comprehensive scientific findings available."

"There is no healthy planet without a healthy ocean; and the ocean health is currently in decline. Over the decade ahead, we have a universally agreed blueprint to work on, including the Paris Agreement and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals  If we implement these in full, we will indeed make peace with nature."

— Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean



"I am absolutely optimistic about the future of the oceans. The science is stronger than ever. This is a particular kind of science that was not available 30 years ago. That is, the science within the interface of ocean, land, and atmosphere, which is a major driver of change. Our awareness is higher than ever, massive campaigns are uniting people and creating significant differences. The Sustainable Blue Economy is offering the best way too hard to resist. It creates mutual benefits for both private and public sectors."

— Ms. Leticia Carvalho, Head of Marine and Freshwater Branch, UNEP 



"Marine protected areas is an important tool to take care of valuable nature. However, in Norway, we have a long coast. We also have to focus on sustainable use of the environment outside protected areas."

“In Norway we have integrated management plans for all sea areas. The management plans give a political framework for marine management and are tools for cross-sectoral cooperation."

 — Ms. Marianne Gjørv, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Environment Agency



"There is a really strengthening policy agenda around the sustainable blue economy and the transition toward it. Increasingly, the sustainable blue economy is driven by a certain number of core principles which include safeguarding natural capital, climate stability and resilience, ensuring outcomes are equitable and inclusive and helping to transition to a more circular based ocean economy. If we can combine these principles and the policy agenda that is developing, I think there is a huge opportunity to support both people ocean health."

 Dr. Steve Fletcher, Panel member, report author, and Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy at the University of Portsmouth 




"As ocean is not divided among countries, the most important is to build a transboundary coordination mechanism for the protection of the marine system."

"We do have the opportunity to improve the marine environment and to explore the path of blue economy."

— Dr. Yonglong Lu, Panel member, report author and Professor at the Xiamen University and Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences





"We are lagging behind in so many ways, just last year, 2020, the pandemic year affected so much the fishery communities throughout our villages. We have new hotspots, we have garbage, microplastics, high-toxic areas. I can name a long list of issues. The thing is that the local and national authorities are not yet prepared or are neglected to do the action. The time to act is now."

— Dr. Porfirio Alvarez, Panel member, report author and Executive Secretary for the Consortium of Marine Research Institutions of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean 



IRP report: "Governing Coastal Resources: Implications for a Sustainable Blue Economy"