Safeguarding and harnessing the ocean’s ability to provide for people and the planet is crucial for sustainable development. The year 2020 could be the year in which the world starts to realise that its prosperity depends on building a new—truly blue—ocean agenda.
The Economist Group’s World Ocean Initiative provides insight and analysis on both the greatest challenges facing the seas and the progress being made towards building a truly “blue” economy. This means harnessing ocean resources for economic growth while protecting ocean health and ensuring social equity.
The year 2020 will be crucial for advancing this discussion. The first set of targets under Sustainable Development Goal 14 (which focuses on the ocean) will be due. On March 9th-10th 2020 the World Ocean Summit will be held in Tokyo to bring together leaders from the worlds of business, politics and civil society to discuss and develop new ideas on how to decouple economic growth from ocean degradation. Portugal will host the second UN Ocean Conference in June, and Palau will host Our Ocean in August. COP26, the UN climate change summit at the end of the year, will continue its “blue” focus, and the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will be just around the corner.
This is an excerpt from an editorial that introduces the World Ocean Initiative supplement published in The Economist, December 2019. The full supplement—with articles on Japan’s role in ocean sustainability, ocean-related climate risks and opportunities, blue finance, and deep-sea mining—is available to download here: https://www.woi.economist.com/world-ocean-initiative-supplement-december-2019/.