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First ever white paper on the place of the oceans in Norwegian foreign and development policy

'The Government is stepping up its efforts to promote Norway's ocean interests. We intend to make sustainable use of the oceans a global priority,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. This is the first time a Norwegian government has presented a white paper on the place of the oceans in foreign and development policy.

The white paper gives special priority to three areas: sustainable use and blue growth, clean and healthy oceans, and the role of the blue economy in development policy.

'International cooperation is the key to tackling the challenges we are facing. Environmental problems such as plastic litter are threatening life in the sea. Given the importance of the oceans for a large proportion of the world's population, dealing with these problems should be a global priority. Norway will play a leading role internationally in efforts to keep the world's oceans clean and healthy,' said Mr Brende.

The Government will set aside NOK 100 million for a development programme to combat marine litter and microplastics. The Government will cooperate with international organisation and other countries to ensure that the funding is used effectively. Norway has expertise, knowledge and technology that is in great demand internationally. The white paper makes it clear that marine research and marine management in developing countries is an area where efforts will be considerably intensified.

The white paper highlights the Arctic seas as one of Norway's important ocean interests. It also emphasises the importance of ensuring that the Law of the Sea is implemented effectively. The Law of the Sea is of crucial importance for international stability and predictability, and for marine management and commercial use of the oceans.

Full press release from the Norwegian Government here.