Oceans cover 71% of our planet. We all rely on them: for our water, our food, our climate, our air. Nearly half of the World's population depends directly on the sea for their livelihoods. But human activity has left the oceans suffering. From pollution, overexploitation, coastal degradation and climate change.
A new vision is needed. A different path must be chosen. Since 2014, the Our Ocean conferences have invited ocean leaders to commit to change. To transforming our shared challenges into opportunities for cooperation, innovation and entrepreneurship.
On 5 and 6 October 2017, the European Union hosted the 4th edition of the Our Ocean conference in Malta. The outcome of the conference was unprecedented and stands to prove that together we can ensure a future for Our Ocean, which is safe, secure, clean and healthy:
- 437 tangible and measurable commitments
- EUR 7.2 billion in financial pledges
- 2.5 million square kilometres of additional Marine Protected Areas
The EU's 36 commitments alone exceeded EUR 550 million and implied action throughout the globe. Together with its individual Member States and the European Investment Bank, the EU pledged more than EUR 2.8 billion.
Other countries tabled over 200 commitments, whilst NGOs, foundations, research institutes and international organisations announced 87 commitments. As a major game-changer, the 2017 conference for the first time mobilised at scale the business community in the conservation of Our Ocean. Corporate leaders responded with 100 commitments. From plastic reduction to satellite monitoring.
The entire Our Ocean 2017 team expresses its sincere gratitude to everybody who contributed to making the conference a success. See you in Bali, Indonesia, for Our Ocean 2018, followed by Norway (2019) and Palau (2020).
"Forests are our planet's green lung, but oceans are its blue heart. It is now up to all of us to keep this blue heart beating."