DUBAI (December 2, 2023) — On December 2, the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) launched the Joint Declaration on Ocean and Climate Action, calling for countries around the world to sustainably manage 100% of their national waters, to safeguard the long term health and resilience of the ocean. 
The Declaration, signed by members of the Ocean Panel and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, emphasizes the importance of a healthy ocean in tackling climate change, citing that ocean-based solutions can potentially reduce the “emissions gap” by up to 35% on a 1.5°C pathway. 

“We invite all ocean and coastal states to unite in the goal of 100% sustainable ocean management and to endorse the ocean action declaration launched by the Ocean Panel today” said Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the Ocean Panel.

The 18 members of the Ocean Panel have committed to 100% sustainable management of the ocean under national jurisdictions to advance long-term economic and social development — by protecting the natural marine ecosystems that underpin that development, and by using the ocean’s resources sustainably. Together they represent 50% of the world’s coastlines and over 45% of the world’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).  

Yesterday, leaders of Pacific nations also committed to holistic ocean management through the Unlocking Blue Pacific Prosperity Plan. The Plan will aim to sustainably manage 100% of the Pacific Ocean and effectively protect 30% of it, making it one of the world’s largest conservation efforts. 

“The Pacific is 40 million square kilometers, almost 3 times the size of Russia. What happens to the Pacific is make or break for the planet.” said Siaosi ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, Prime Minister of Tonga. “That’s why we have committed to protecting 30% of our blue continent as we strive to protect and sustainably manage critical ecosystems. We mean to show the world that Pacific people are resilient and determined to hope.”

Making this ambitious plan possible will require global partnerships and fit-for-purpose funding to support conservation. Today Carlos Manuel Rodriguez CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) announced a commitment of $125 million and Dr Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund announced a contribution of $100 million to this initiative.  

The Ocean Panel declaration calls for countries to adopt ocean-based action in their national climate goals, including Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), long-term strategies and adaptation communications. It also invites countries to adopt Sustainable Ocean Plans (a policy tool pioneered by the Panel) as a vehicle to achieving 100% sustainable management.

About the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

Co-chaired by Norway and Palau, the Ocean Panel includes Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Palau, Portugal, Seychelles the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Together, these 18 nations represent 50% of the world’s coastlines, 45% of global EEZs, 26% of the world’s fisheries, 20% of the world’s shipping fleet. The Ocean Panel is supported by the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean. Based on the shared understanding of the need to improve the state of the ocean, the countries in the Ocean Panel are committed to producing national sustainable ocean plans with the aim of sustainably managing 100% of the ocean area under national jurisdiction. Learn more at World Resources Institute (WRI) serves as the Secretariat for the Ocean Panel. Learn more at