This episode of WRI’s “Big Ideas Into Action” podcast looks at the announcement from the 14 members of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy that they are committing to sustainably managing 100% of their national waters by 2025.

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About the episode

Over the past year, the Ocean Panel has published a series of papers examining everything from seafood to ocean pollution, climate change and biodiversity. Now, the national leaders of the 14 Ocean Panel countries have made a commitment based on the science and knowledge in those papers. They announced that they will sustainably manage 100% of their national waters, guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans, by 2025.

This is an important commitment. The Ocean Panel members account for nearly 40% of all national coastlines in the world. The combined Exclusive Economic Zones from the 14 cover the same area as the EEZs surrounding the whole of North, South and Central America, plus the Caribbean, combined. In this podcast, we hear from Jane Lubchenco, the co-chair of the Ocean Panel’s expert group, explaining what this commitment means and why the Ocean Panel members made it. Click here to hear an earlier podcast that explains the concept of a sustainable ocean economy.

Highlights from the episode

“The current state of the ocean is grim. The ocean is massively affected by climate change. It’s depleted, it’s disrupted, it’s polluted, it’s less predictable and it simply cannot continue to provide what people need. We’re at a breaking point, which is why it’s so timely that the Ocean Panel members have come together, and have committed not only to fix the problems that are challenging the ocean, but do so in a way that flips the script and puts the ocean at the center of solutions to big global problems, including climate change, food security (and) loss of biodiversity. They are seeing an opportunity for the ocean that is unparalleled. In healing the ocean, we can heal ourselves"

— Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University and Co-chair of the Ocean Panel Expert Group

Mentioned in this episode:

WRI serves as the Secretariat for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel). The Ocean Panel is a unique initiative of 14 serving world leaders building momentum towards a sustainable ocean economy, where effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand-in-hand.

Read the latest research from the Ocean Panel

Follow the Ocean Panel on Twitter @oceanpanel