Peter Thomson knows a thing or two about the ocean. As a Fijian diplomat, he has lived surrounded by the waters of the South Pacific, and represented the nation at the highest levels of international environmental action. After a stint at the head of the U.N. General Assembly, he is a U.N. Special Envoy for the Ocean.

As an expert on the Ocean, you might think Thomson would be pessimistic. After all, the seas are under threat from seemingly every direction. Plastic pollution is clogging the Pacific. Reefs around the planet are bleaching and dying, some of the most biodiverse habitats on Earth are disappearing before our eyes. Carbon pollution is causing the Ocean’s pH to drop, upsetting a delicate chemical balance.

However, Thomson says he's confident the world will do right by the Ocean. He traces this to an upswing in international action since 2017, following the Ocean Conference, a "game-changing" meeting of minds. Now, he says he believes we can right the ship by 2030.

In this podcast, Thomson is interviewed by Lawrence MacDonald, vice president for communications at WRI. They are also joined by Kristian Teleki, the director of the new Sustainable Ocean Initiative at WRI, for a conversation on ocean conservation—what we need to do, how we can do it, and when we need to do it by.

Teleki adds, "These changes aren't going to happen overnight. If we work now to set a new course, we can meet Peter's vision of a healthier ocean by 2030."

Listen to their conversation: