At the UN Ocean Conference on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced that it would enable 100 coastal countries including all Small Island Developing States to realise the maximum potential of their blue economies through sustainable, low-emission and climate-resilient ocean action by 2030.
The announcement comes at a time when Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the ocean economy over the last 10 years has averaged only $1.3 billion per year and the scale of public and private investment for ocean restoration and protection remains woefully inadequate.
UNDP’s Ocean Promise launched at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon underscores that every penny invested in achieving the Paris Agreement is a penny invested in ocean health – the foundation of the sustainable blue economy. The Promise outlines actions in key sectors to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and livelihoods, improve food security, reduce poverty and inequity, and promote gender equality.
“The Ocean Promise is our blue economy vision that emphasises the restoration of the nearly $1 trillion in annual socioeconomic losses due to ocean mismanagement. The promise is also about helping countries to tap into new and emerging ocean sectors for increased ocean-related socio-economic opportunities,” stated Usha Rao-Monari, Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator at UNDP.
“We will continue to work across issues and scales, from local to global, in close partnership with governments, UN agency partners, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, communities and the private sector, towards accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14. The ocean is a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change – saving our ocean means protecting our future.”
SDG 14, which is about “Life Below Water”, remains the most underfunded goal yet holds immense potential to be a game changer in addressing the triple planetary crisis, according to the UNDP.
“In a business-as-usual fossil fuel use scenario, many ocean species and ecosystems, and the food security and livelihoods of billions of people face existential threats. With only eight years to go until 2030, the time to act is now: UNDP’s Ocean Promise aims to catalyse significant progress on SDG 14 implementation,” submits the UN body.