Portugal is one of the 14 member states of the High Level Panel for the Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) that have committed to sustainably manage the entire ocean area under their jurisdiction until 2025.
According to the statement by the Ocean Panel, released this Wednesday, “countries will bring a holistic approach to managing the oceans that balances protection, production and prosperity in almost 30 billion km2 of national waters,” an area equivalent to of the African continent.
In addition to Portugal, which has one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world, because of Madeira and, above all, because of the Azores, coastal countries or countries without land borders, such as Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, are part of the Ocean Panel. Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Palau.
The Ocean Panel also called on leaders from other coastal and ocean countries to join this commitment, which aims to manage all of the world's exclusive economic zones in a sustainable manner by 2030.
The leaders of these countries, as well as the leaders of Norway and Palau, who are the co-chairs of the Ocean Panel, launched this Wednesday the “Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: A vision for protection, production and prosperity”.
"These world leaders understand that the ocean is central to life on Earth, people's livelihoods and the economy, but they also recognize that the health of the ocean is at risk due to pressures like pollution, overfishing and climate change," continues the communicated.
“That's why, two years ago, members of the Ocean Panel began to develop a transformative set of recommendations to provide a sustainable ocean economy that would benefit people everywhere and effectively protect the ocean. The result is a new ocean action agenda that - if achieved - can help produce up to 6 times more food from the ocean, generate 40 times more renewable energy, lift millions of people out of poverty and contribute to a fifth of the emissions reductions in GHG needed to stay within 1,5 ° C ”, reads the document.
Quoted in a statement, the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, stressed that “the well-being of humanity is deeply intertwined with the health of the ocean. It sustains us, stabilizes the climate and leads to greater prosperity ”.
For his part, Tommy Remengesau Jr., president of Palau, said that “we need the ocean more than ever to drive sustainable long-term recovery. The ocean is our past, our present and our future. We don't have to choose between protection and ocean production; we can have a healthy, prosperous and equitable future if we manage our impacts on the ocean properly ”.
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, also quoted in the statement, stressed that "Portugal is committed to a blue economic recovery and to sustainably managing our ocean, combining health, wealth and social justice".
According to the Ocean Panel, the ocean, which covers 70% of the planet, feeds more than three billion people daily. In it, at least 90% of the goods are transported and each year contributes US $ 1,5 billion to the global economy, with a strong impact on the sectors of fisheries, tourism, transport and others.