(File photo: Yin Miao)
New York (People’s Daily) — In celebration of World Oceans Day on Friday, the United Nations Global Compact launched its newly formed Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform, which is a three-year program that brings together businesses, civil society, the UN, and governments to advance the ocean economy and its sustainable development.
The ocean, which is the world's greatest common resource, can help the UN and its partners deliver on the UN's 2030 Agenda and its 17 Global Goals. It also has the potential to help with the world’s increasing demand for sustainable sources of food, energy, minerals, and transportation.
(File photo: Yin Miao)
Rooted in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform gathers leading businesses together with various entities to explore and define how ocean-based companies can deliver on the Global Goals.
During a ceremony for the platform launch, which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Lise Kingo, CEO and executive director of the UN Global Compact, said she was optimistic about the platform’s prospects.
"I am truly encouraged by the huge interest of the private sector to step up and take action on delivering on the Global Goals," Kingo said. "The ocean industries are true global companies, facing unique challenges and opportunities every day in a competitive marketplace. Balancing environmental challenges, social development and economic growth is all about understanding long-term risks and opportunities. And the biggest risk of all is not delivering the 2030 Agenda."
Threats such as overfishing, littering, and acidification have put the health of the world’s oceans in a very fragile state. The private sector can play a significant role in ensuring the ocean is sustainably managed. By contributing innovation, investment, development, and providing new products, services, and business models – companies can help fix the damage humans have done to the ocean’s ecosystem while also contributing to the world’s economic growth.
"The ocean is a vital source of life, food, energy, medication and new opportunities," Per Sandberg, Norwegian minister of fisheries, said during the Friday event. "It is facing severe challenges that we need to find solutions to. We have to work together, and our policies for development and business have to work together. We must foster an international understanding of the fact that sustainable use of the ocean will enable higher value creation. Norway welcomes the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and we will share our experiences and acquired knowledge."
The launch had more than 100 participants attending the event, including Fatima Kyari Mohammed, permanent observer of the African Union to the United Nations, who gave the ceremony's closing remarks.
Over the next three years, a diverse group of multi-stakeholder platform participants will aim to deliver actions on ocean sustainability and advance shared ocean priorities.