The sustainable ocean economy provides an opportunity for a shift forward in realigning global economies with the needs of a society that has dramatically changed, impacted by globalization, the technology revolution, an ever-changing political landscape and the global health emergency. Through opportunities in the sustainable ocean economy, G20 countries can reframe ocean governance mechanisms and management strategies to lead the shift in growth by aligning priorities of society, nature and economy, laying the groundwork for lasting benefits shared among communities.
The role of G20 for improved ocean governance and management
The value of the ocean is reduced by environmental pressures from overfishing, climate change, pollution, loss of habitats and biological diversity, and urban development of coasts, which are symptoms of weak ocean governance and management. Despite progress with ocean governance generally, there are gaps and outdated approaches in ocean-related policies and laws, and severe shortcomings in implementation and law enforcement, resulting inmany unregulated, partly illegal activities, and inadequate management or non-existent stewardship of manyparts of the ocean. Poor governance and management increases investment risks and holds back and undermines growth of a sustainable ocean economy.
The challenge is understood, but significant action is still pending. There is an opportunity at the G20, as well as at the G7 and High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, to address meaningfully governance shortcomings and set the stage for successful protection and prudent use of the ocean resources, with an assurance for the long-termsustainability and benefits to societies, as outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 14 (‘the ocean goal’).