‘The oceans have huge potential when it comes to meeting the world’s need for resources and creating jobs and economic and social development. We will not be able to realise this potential without sustainable growth in ocean-based industries,’ said Ms Solberg.
The growing global population means that the world needs more resources and services from the oceans, such as food, energy, medicines, minerals and transport. The intention behind this initiative is to increase international awareness of the fact that sustainable use of the oceans and the maintenance of good environmental status can lead to significant value creation, and can enable us to meet some of the world’s most vital needs in the years to come.
‘I want to share Norway’s experience of combining conservation and use of marine resources. Norway has considerable expertise on ocean issues, which means that we can make an important contribution in this area. Our expertise is in demand internationally.
‘Through this initiative, we are taking a leading role in international efforts in this field, and are making a concrete contribution to the efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
‘Norway already has a reputation as a leader in this field, and we are a sought-after partner. Our efforts at international level to combat marine litter and microplastics are an important case in point. A resolution put forward by Norway was passed at the UN Environment Assembly in December, on the long-term elimination of discharge of litter and microplastics to the oceans,’ said Ms Solberg.
The panel will start its work in the first half of 2018, and will continue until 2020. A key deliverable will be a report on the importance of the ocean economy for sustainable development. The panel will work closely with the UN and will engage with other international initiatives in this field.