The Our Ocean Conference brings together leaders from governments, business, civil society and research institutions, to work together to find solutions to promote clean, healthy and productive oceans, and to ensure sound marine management.
‘Climate change is taking place at sea just as much as it is on land. We are seeing rising ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification. Nursery areas for fish are being destroyed, which in turn is having an impact on people’s livelihoods and access to food,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
Voluntary commitments are at the core of the Our Ocean conferences. At the conferences, governments, industry and civil society announce commitments in the following six areas of action: climate change, marine pollution, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, maritime security, and sustainable blue economy.
‘The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the new study by the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy both show how important the oceans are if we are to achieve the climate targets. At the Our Ocean conferences, participants from both the private and public sectors announce actions in a range of areas, including climate change, to promote sustainable oceans,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
‘The Our Ocean conference is an important supplement to other ocean and climate summits, such as the Santiago Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in December, and the UN Ocean Conference in Portugal in 2020. At the other conferences, the main actors are states, whereas Our Ocean brings together representatives of authorities, civil society, and business and research communities on an equal footing,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The Our Ocean Conference was held for the first time in 2014 in the US, at the initiative of former US Secretary of State John Kerry. This year’s conference is being organised by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide as host. Prime Minister Erna Solberg and several other Norwegian ministers will also be attending.
Some 500 high-profile politicians, business leaders and representatives of civil society are expected to attend, including HRH Crown Prince Haakon, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, ministers from more than 30 countries, John Kerry, and the leaders of companies such as PepsiCo. Other participants include the Australian businessman and philanthropist Andrew Forrest (Minderoo Foundation), filmmaker Alexandra Cousteau, ocean advocate Emily Penn (eXXpedition), Nina Jensen (REV Ocean), and Olympic gold medallist in diving Guo Jingjing, who is also World Wildlife Fund’s Ocean Ambassador in China.
As an important part of the Our Ocean Conference, the organisation Sustainable Ocean Alliance and the University of Tromsø will co-host the fourth Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit. The Summit will bring together around 100 participants from 46 countries, all of whom have been invited because of their commitment to promoting sustainability.
A number of side events will also take place in connection with the conference. These will be organised by a range of actors from civil society and business, as well as government bodies.
Our Ocean Press Contacts
Mari Bangstad, MFA Norway Comms. Adviser
Email: [email protected], phone: +47 414 40 871
Arvid Samland, Office of the Prime Minister Comms. Adviser
Email: [email protected], phone: + 47 930 51 458
Youth Leadership Summit Press Contacts
Haley Steinhauser, Public relations director
Email: [email protected]
Audrey Reisdorffer, Marketing lead and events coordinator
Email: [email protected], phone: +852 9244 3863 (WhatsApp only)
See the full press release here.