Safeguarding the ocean for future generations is a shared responsibility and a matter of global urgency. This is why the conference brought together 500 leaders from 100 countries in Oslo, including strong high-level representation from the Caribbean Region. The Caribbean countries share commonalities with Norway:
"We are small countries, but huge ocean states, and the blue economy holds great potential for us. We need to be champions of adapting to climate change as well as keeping our oceans healthy”
said the Minister of climate resilience, environment and fisheries from Grenada, Simon Stiell.
The participants of Our Ocean 2019 shared experiences and identified solutions for how to protect the ocean and make better use of marine resources. The message was to meet the challenges facing the ocean by putting knowledge, technology and finance into action. Production and sustainable use must go hand in hand so that the ocean can continue to provide for the needs of future generations.
But, as highlighted by Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide:
“The aim of the Our Ocean conferences is not only to capture the world’s attention. It is also to get the world to act”
SIDS Seminar and Sargassum workshop: the Caribbean perspectives
Norway’s Ambassador to Cuba and the Caribbean, Ingrid Mollestad, was attending the conference together with high-level representation from the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada and Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and and representatives from CARICOM and OECS.
Representatives from the region gave the Caribbean perspectives visibility through several key note presentations, and in the panel debates. They also met with Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, and had bilateral meetings with Norway’s Foreign Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide, and meetings with Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen and Norway’s Minister of Fisheries Harald Nesvik.
In relation to the conference, a full day seminar for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) was arranged with the overall theme: “Ocean management: opportunities, challenges and experience”.
Further, the conference had a side event on Sargassum Weed. The purpose was to shed light on the problems, challenges and opportunities posed by Sargassum weed for ecosystems, tourism and fisheries in the Caribbean. The seminar also included private sectors and innovators who are working on possible innovative solutions to the problem, including the Norwegian companies EnviroNor and Brightcore Quantum.
At the core of Our Ocean conferences, are voluntary commitments for a clean, healthy and productive ocean.
In Oslo, Norway announced 17 commitments worth just over 328 million dollars to promote sustainable ocean management in the period 2020-2024. Norway is also at the forefront of efforts to put in place a global agreement on marine litter and micro plastics by 2023.
There was a great global engagement at the Our Ocean conference in Oslo. 370 commitments were made, at a total value of at least 63 billion dollars. Read more about the commitments made at Our Ocean 2019 here.
“Every second breath we take comes from phytoplankton in the ocean, and it is urgent to improve the state of the ocean. Now, we must put the commitments made in Oslo into practice,”
said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Our Ocean 2020 will be held in Palau.