Major Swedish engagement in the UN Ocean Conference
On 11 January, Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin hosted Swedish stakeholders with an interest in oceans at an information meeting about the UN Ocean Conference, due to be held in New York on 5–9 June. There were over one hundred representatives of companies, the knowledge society, civil society and government agencies present – all with the joint agenda of working to save our oceans.
Sustainable oceans essential for global development
The 2030 Agenda is a global agenda for sustainable development, in which Goal 14 on sustainable oceans plays a key role. Ms Lövin emphasised that the marine environment is fundamental to poverty reduction, food security and economic development for hundreds of millions of people. At the same time, there is a strong negative trend.
"If we do not break the current trend, in 2050 there will be as much plastic in the oceans as there are fish. Measures have to be taken quickly and resolutely. This is why Sweden and Fiji have taken the initiative to host the UN's first major ocean conference," said Ms Lövin.
Goal 14 covers a broad range of marine issues, such as sustainable fishing, marine littering, ocean acidification and a sustainable blue economy. This was also clearly reflected in the broad participation in the meeting, moderated by Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute.
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and other Swedish government agencies presented their roles in Sweden's work on Goal 14 and the conference, as did the World Maritime University in Malmö, which is the only UN body located in Sweden. The strong academic presence highlighted how far Swedish-led research has come in the marine environment area, as well as the importance of linking this research to a broader development perspective.
Partnerships and cooperation are a success factor
The Ocean Conference will build long-term, innovative and concrete partnerships between states, civil society, the private sector, the knowledge society and other stakeholders. This is why broad participation from all areas of society is important, at local, regional, national and global level.
"The oceans are our world bank. There is major economic potential to be protected in our marine environment," said Mattias Rust from the WWF.
Swedish companies represented at the meeting also highlighted how innovative solutions are contributing to sustainable marine management.
Press Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister
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