A resilient and abundant ocean is essential to tackle climate change and key to providing sustainable food and jobs that could boost recovery around the world.

Half of the world’s GDP is dependent on nature, according to the World Economic Forum, and more than three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.

As countries recover from the economic and social impacts of Covid-19, the ocean can be a major part of the solution.

To fast-track the innovations necessary for a healthy ocean, Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum are convening the second Virtual Ocean Dialogues event.

On May 25-26, government representatives, business leaders, members of civil society and scientific communities will gather at this virtual global summit to highlight how a healthy ocean is critical to the sustainable development agenda.

A healthy ocean is increasingly being seen as a solution to the many development challenges the society is facing.

“It has never been more critical to fast-track solutions for a resilient and thriving ocean. A range of major global summits and forums in the coming months offer a moment to acknowledge the ocean’s transformative role in tackling climate change, supporting global food systems and rebuilding the health of the natural world,” said Kristian Teleki, Director of Friends of Ocean Action at the World Economic Forum.

“I invite anyone with an interest in our shared future on this blue planet to tune into the livestreamed sessions and join the conversation,” Teleki added.

During the event, ideas and innovations for ocean health will also be shared on UpLink, the digital platform to crowdsource innovations to accelerate delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A new UpLink Ocean Challenge will be launched to seek new ideas to boost sustainable food from aquatic sources.

“Following the outstanding success of last year’s event, the virtual Ocean Dialogues have become a key waymarker in global efforts to secure the ocean’s health,” said Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, and Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action.

“I am delighted to see this second iteration take to the airwaves,” he added.

The 2021 virtual Ocean Dialogues are part of a three-day high-level virtual forum convened by the World Economic Forum, the Mission Possible Partnership and Friends of Ocean Action, together with the United Kingdom’s Presidency of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), the UN High-Level Champions for COP26 and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean.

Friends of Ocean Action is a coalition of 65 ocean leaders who are fast-tracking solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean.

Its members come from diverse backgrounds like business, civil society, international organisations, science and technology. It is hosted by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the World Resources Institute.

–IANS

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