World Economic Forum, Indonesia launch initiative for sustainable ocean economy

by IANS |

Bali, Nov 14 (IANS) The government of Indonesia, together with the World Economic Forum, on Monday launched Ocean 20 (O20), an innovative public-private initiative to ensure the long-term sustainability of the ocean economy.

Kicked off in Bali during a series of high-level dialogues ahead of the G20 Heads of State and Government Summit, O20 is being proposed as an official Engagement Group of the G20.

Indonesia currently holds the G20 Presidency before handing it off to India on December 1.

As the G20 represent 45 per cent of the world's coastlines, 80 per cent of global carbon emissions and 75 per cent of global trade, restoring the ocean's value and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the ocean economy represents a critical opportunity to address many of the priorities set out in the G20 agenda, including stimulating economic growth, jobs and innovation.

A new World Economic Forum study, 'What Ocean Sustainability Means for Business', published in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, highlights the positive change and growth that are possible if businesses and the G20 aid in accelerating ocean sustainability.

It outlines both the challenges faced and the areas where business can make a transformative contribution to ocean health, which in turn feeds back to their own long-term viability and prosperity.

"For a truly thriving ocean that serves and safeguards people in all communities and is strong in its role of buffering us against the worst effects of the climate crisis, we need all stakeholders coming together to tackle the greatest challenges facing the ocean today," said Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

One key challenge brought to light in the study is that ineffective governance represents a paralyzing block to the advancement of a truly sustainable ocean economy.

It acknowledges that addressing this challenge urgently requires an integrated and holistic approach to ocean management in order to stop and reverse the current decline in ocean health.

Ocean 20 is being created to help, among others, bridge this gap.

"Through Ocean 20 we are helping drive an agenda that brings G20 governments, businesses and other stakeholders together to commit and take action for a healthy ocean," Schwab added.

"Indonesia takes pride in initiating Ocean 20. It is part of our commitment to protecting oceans and building a sustainable ocean economy. We invite all G20 leaders to contribute actively to these critical endeavours, including by allocating necessary means and resources. Let us collaborate to sustain a healthy planet and oceans for the next generations," said Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The O20 will engage leaders in dedicated working groups to translate ambition to commitment and action for a healthy ocean.

It will continue with its focus on key areas of sustainable ocean economy growth, from blue carbon and blue food to fast-tracking finance into ocean health, addressing the problems of plastic pollution, and climate change and embracing the opportunities of the energy transition.

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