Henrik Österblom & Robert Blasiak were two of the 250 scientists who in December 2020, supported 14 heads of state in crafting the agreement for ‘100% sustainable ocean management by 2025’. Now, they are “deeply concerned”.
Weeks later, Norway, a country that is co-leading this initiative announced 61 new licenses for oil and gas exploration. Not only that, but it also plans to permit sea-bed mining as early as 2023. The country’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg made a statement in December 2020 explaining “Why I put my political will behind knowledge to benefit the ocean and humanity.” See article here. However, these new oil and gas licenses express ‘business as usual’ plans that do not align with sustainable ocean management goals.
It is clear that under the plan of a sustainable ocean economy, we cannot continue to increase offshore oil and gas exploration, and accountability measures are crucial in order for countries to abide by this sustainability agreement. The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy is an important step towards safeguarding the ocean through science-based policy that must be followed and respected.
The above summary was adapted from the original article.