Speech/statement | Date: 30/10/2019
By Former Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein (Stockholm, 30 October)
Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein's statement at the Nordic meeting on "Sustainable Ocean Development" in Stockholm".
Dear colleagues and friends,
- Last week, Norway hosted the sixth Our Ocean conference. Thank you all for your governments’ commitment to the ocean agenda.
- The conference came on the heels of the IPCC’s Special Report, which told us that we have gone from bad news to worse
- For more than a thousand years, the sea has forced us Norwegians to be alert and aware of dangers, to ride the waves, reef the sail and catch the wind.
- It has taught us to heed the mighty forces of nature – without surrendering to them.
- It has taught us to heed the advice of science:
- If we catch less fish this year – there will be more fish to catch next
- This is win-win in its purest form: The ocean takes excellent care of us – if only we take care of the ocean.
- There is no way we can reach the Sustainable Development Goals without unleashing the tremendous potential of the sea.
- Achieving goal 14, a healthy life below water, will help us reach the first and second goals – no poverty and zero hunger – and it will help us reach goals 3, 4, 5 - and so on.
- We can only meet our ambition if we take ocean-related action to combat climate change.
- But efforts to reduce emissions in the future are of little immediate help to people who are struggling to secure their livelihoods at present.
- It is the poorest that are hit the hardest – as always.
- That is why strengthening the climate change resilience of developing countries must be a crucial part of Agenda 2030.
- For many years, Norway has championed emission reductions in developing countries through our climate and forest initiative – and through investments in renewable energy.
- Over the past six months, we have drawn up a strategy for stepping up our efforts to promote climate adaptation, build resilience and fight hunger.
- Ocean-related efforts will be crucial to this strategy, and we intend to make a major contribution to global adaptation efforts.
- At the same time, we need to foster a sustainable ocean economy that can provide food, employment and welfare for all those who rely on the ocean for their basic needs.
- This summer, Norway launched an action plan on sustainable food systems in our foreign and development policy.
- We will specifically target small-scale farmers and fishermen in the least developed countries, most notably in Africa south of Sahara.
- Food security is not just about enough food – it is also about the right kind of food.
- Seafood is a unique source of fatty acids, bio-available protein and essential micro-nutrients.
- The new programme Ocean for Development will support a sustainable and inclusive ocean economy by assisting cooperating countries in improving their ocean governance.
- The idea is to share our experiences on integrated ocean management – knowledge-based management – in order to promote ocean health and unlock wealth.
- I hope that we can strengthen our cooperation in these areas, just like our environment colleagues just did on marine plastic pollution.
- Their joint call to work for a global agreement combatting marine litter has already served as a model for a similar call from Caribbean states.
- We hope other regions will follow.
- As Nordic countries, we have a lot of clout in questions concerning development, environment and climate change.
- I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how can we use that influence to lead the way in knowledge-based action on sustainable ocean development.
- It is true that we have a sea of opportunities before us.
- But only if we ask what we can do for the ocean – not just what the ocean can do for us.