State Secretary Jens Frølich Holte is taking over the position of Prime Minister’s representative (sherpa) to the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
‘Vidar Helgesen has done an outstanding job preparing the Ocean Panel’s ambitious – and much-needed – action plan and vision for sustainable ocean management. Norway is now working to translate the plan into action both nationally and internationally, and I am pleased to have State Secretary Jens Frølich Holte on the team,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
The Ocean Panel was established in 2018 at the initiative of Ms Solberg and currently consists of 14 countries. In December 2020, the Panel presented a new ocean action agenda. The countries represented on the Panel made a commitment to sustainably manage 100 % of the ocean areas under their national jurisdiction by 2025. They also urge all other coastal states to develop plans of this kind by 2030.
The Ocean Panel’s conclusions are based on research showing that the oceans are both more important than previously thought – for human and planetary health, for the climate and food security, for local job markets and the global economy – and more vulnerable than we imagined. At the same time, the oceans themselves will be the source of many of the solutions.
‘The oceans hold the key to solving many of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Clean and productive oceans will make it easier for the world to reduce poverty and cut greenhouse gas emissions. However, this will require wise management, which is why the recommendation of 100 % sustainable ocean management is so vital. It is critical now to encourage more countries to make a conscious decision to give priority to sustainable oceans,’ said State Secretary Jens Frølich Holte.
Efforts to follow up the Ocean Panel’s conclusions have already begun in many countries. Norway will, among other things, take steps to further refine its ocean management plans in the light of the Panel’s conclusions.
Norway has taken a leading role in global efforts to promote clean and healthy oceans. Ms Solberg was recently appointed as Patron of the Ocean Decade Alliance. Norwegian expertise on ocean-related issues is highly sought-after in several areas, and is being made accessible through knowledge development programmes such as Fish for Development and Oceans for Development. Norway’s international ocean management efforts are intended to promote healthy marine environments and a sustainable ocean economy that is able to meet the needs of the world.
See the full report of the Ocean Panel here .