Download - Summary on Global Oceans Action Summit
29 April 2014, The Hague - The Chair's summary and main outcome of the Summit held from 22 April until 25 April in The Hague can be downloaded here. (pdf)
Press release - Ocean Summit: ‘Action for healthier oceans starts today’
25 April 2014, The Hague - We will need to take unorthodox steps to tackle overfishing, climate change and pollution of the oceans. Governments, business leaders and NGOs from 80 countries commit themselves to firm agreements. In addition, 10 partnerships were announced. We have the solutions for sustainable fisheries and blue growth in our own hands and now it is a matter of putting this into action on a global scale, and this action starts today. This is the final conclusion of the Global Oceans Action Summit after a week of high level roundtable discussions in The Hague.
From courage to action
Dutch Minister for Agriculture and chair of the summit, H.E. Sharon Dijksma, said about the result: 'This week the world didn’t just show courage; it showed especially that’s it’s ready for action to tackle overfishing, climate change and pollution. That is exactly what the world needs right now, as only then will fish and healthy oceans still be able to provide for hundreds of millions of people after 2030.'
Results from the Summit:
- The only way to end the war of attrition at sea is to stop overfishing and to eliminate overcapacity
- From now on, subsidies should be used for sustainable fisheries only;
- Illegal fisheries must be banned, and we need regional agreements with businesses to achieve this;
- Accelerating ratification of agreed mechanisms for improved fisheries practices to make the fisheries sector more sustainable, and tackling pollution;
- A stronger recognition of the impact of climate change on the oceans is crucial;
- The oceans must be a special focus in the United Nations Sustainability Objectives.
At the summit more than 10 new commitments for public-private partnerships were entered into, leading to action in many places around the world. Today the following partnerships will be announced:
- Mauritius, the Seychelles and the labelling non-profit organisation Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) will start working at certification of fish species and sustainable fisheries in the Indian Ocean;
- Conservation International will further develop the Ocean Health Index with partners;
- Rockefeller Foundation and the Netherlands pledging funding support of 250,000 euros to WorldFish and FAO to produce a Roadmap for the Future of Fish.
- Together with the Netherlands, the WNF will start working on a study into the effectiveness of international ‘Marine protected areas’.
- The Netherlands had already announced it is going to work together with Indonesia to prevent fish wastage, and with Grenada to protect the coral. There are also partnerships to better exchange the available data and to promote the recovery of fish populations.
John Kerry follows up on agreements
US Secretary of State John Kerry will organise the next summit in June 2014 and is therefore following up on agreements made in The Hague. This summit was co-organised by the World Bank, the FAO and the governments of Grenada, Indonesia, Mauritius, Norway and the United States.
FAO and World Bank
Árni M. Mathiesen – Assistant Director-General of the FAO said:
'This Summit has put an accent on action and the route to navigate on oceans, fisheries management and aquaculture is much clearer than before.'
World Bank representative Valerie Hickey said:
'This Summit has presented the way forward for a new type of growth – blue growth which is sustainable, equitable and takes the value of the ocean’s ecosystem services into account. Together, we can restore ocean health at the speed and scale necessary to drive broad-based blue growth, secure food security and turn down the heat on climate change. We have the set of actions needed – let’s move on them now.'
Press release - High level roundtable at Global Oceans Action Summit
24 April 2014, The Hague - On the final day of the Global Oceans Action Summit Dutch Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma has called for action to restore the health of the world’s oceans. “It takes courage to see beyond borders and act together to achieve healthier oceans and food security. Action is required, and this is the message I gave to my colleagues today. We must make progress and that begins now", said Minister Dijksma.
On the last day of the summit considerable efforts were made by over 70 heads of government, ministers, captains of industry and NGOs to improve the health of oceans and preserve fish stocks as a source of income and food. The world population is set to grow by 2 billion to reach over 9 billion people by 2050. Fish is already one of the most important sources of protein, while 30% of fish stocks are under severe pressure.
A declaration pledging healthier oceans and increased global food security is expected to be issued on Friday. An action agenda for blue growth is also being prepared. Many livelihoods, such as fisheries and tourism, depend on the ocean.
‘Protecting the oceans is a top priority’
The next World Ocean Summit will be chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry on 16 and 17 June 2014. He addressed the conference via a video link: "We look forward to the results of the Global Oceans Action Summit. And we will continue this work at the next oceans conference in June in the United States". Protecting our oceans and food security is a top priority for the US Secretary of State Kerry and for the world. "We all need to work together on this challenge", he said.
Coral Conservation Partnership with Grenada, Caribbean
With the support of the Netherlands, the Island State of Grenada in the Caribbean will launch a project for the conservation of coral and fish. This will ensure that tourism and fisheries will continue to drive economic growth.
Grenada is highly dependant on the ‘blue economy’ through revenues from cruise ships, diving tourism and fishing. The Netherlands is investing a total of 1 million dollars in knowledge with the requirement that the business community also contributes through public private partnerships. In this context, Grenada and the Netherlands have also agreed to set up an Oceans Governance Institute to build up and exchange knowledge in the Caribbean.
Minister Dijksma initiated the partnership with the Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell during the summit. "Grenada has the courage to pursue a long-term vision. The islands are serious about protecting fragile coral. This requires knowledge in many areas, such as climate change and sustainable fisheries. The Netherlands has this knowledge in house and we will work together to improve conservation and economic growth in the Caribbean."
Video - Global Oceans Action Summit: It's all about sharing experiences
24 April, 2014 - Among the approaches discussed, inclusive partnerships that bring together public, private, community and civil society actors were highlighted on this 3rd day of the summit. An example of combined action in partnerships is the commercial fishery in British Columbia, Canada. One of the fishermen, Wes Erickson, is in The Hague to talk about their approach.
Press release - Improved fish products for Indonesian consumers
First partnership to be announced at Global Oceans Action Summit.
23 april 2014, The Hague - Indonesia and The Netherlands are starting joint projects for improved and safer fish products for millions of Indonesian consumers. This partnership is announced at the second day of the Global Ocean Actions Summit in The Hague. Total value of the joint projects is 4,5 million Euros.
Sharon Dijksma, Minister for Agriculture, The Netherlands: "Far too much fish gets wasted worldwide due to lack of knowledge of storage and cooling techniques. Needless waste of good food out of the ocean. This urges for action now, starting today. We are going to work together and invest knowledge to improve fish products for consumers."
Specialists from Wageningen University and Research Center and their Indonesian colleagues will cooperate on project locations on Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java and a smaller project on Ambon as well.
Goal of the projects is to ensure safe and high-qualitative fish products and its availibility for internal markets and possibly export. The projects will run till end of 2016.
Video - A New Wave for the World
22 april 2014, The Hague - First day impression
Press release - Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth opens in The Hague
High-level gathering focuses on identifying solutions for healthy oceans
22 April 2014, The Hague/Rome – Urgent coordinated action is needed to restore the health of the world’s oceans and secure the long-term well-being and food security of a growing global population. That is a key message of an international summit that opens today in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Ministers and senior representatives from governments, the fishing industry, coastal communities, science and civil society are coming together at the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth (22-25 April) which aims to bring global attention and increased investment into addressing the 3 key threats to ocean health and food security: overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution. The summit will culminate in a high level roundtable on Thursday 25 April.
“Joint urgent action of the global community is needed to address the threats facing our oceans”, says H.E Sharon Dijksma, minister for Agriculture of the Netherlands, who is hosting the summit. “Local innovations to balance ecology and economy at sea must be identified and put into practice in other regions. The Global Oceans Action Summit in The Hague provides the opportunity to make a difference,”
On average, 17 % of global animal protein intake comes from fisheries and aquaculture, and demand for fish protein is expected to double in the next 20 years, yet some 28 % of global stocks are already overfished. At the same time, climate change is threatening biodiversity, altering habitats and changing the productivity of our fisheries.
“Healthy oceans have a central role to play in solving one of the biggest problems of the 21st century – how to feed 9 billion people by 2050,” said Árni M. Mathiesen, AssistantDirector-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “However, we need to act now at the speed and scale necessary to meet the challenges we face by joining forces with all stakeholders, fostering partnerships and spurring sustainable growth.
Over 500 delegates are expected to attend the Summit, including more than 60 ministers, CEOs and leaders from civil society. Hosted by the Government of the Netherlands, the Summit is co-organized by the World Bank, FAO and the Governments of Grenada, Indonesia, Mauritius, Norway and the United States of America.
The Summit will focus on some of the underlying causes that have led to the overfishing, increased marine pollution and loss of critical habitat as well as potential solutions. This means balancing the demand for growth with the need for conservation of marine areas; addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the high seas and within national exclusive economic zones; and ensuring private sector growth does not come at the expense of protecting the livelihoods of local communities.
“Solutions exist that balance the ecological and economic demands on the ocean,” said Juergen Voegele, Director of Agriculture and Environmental Services at the World Bank, a co-organizer of the event. “We have the opportunity to align all our efforts and bring solutions to scale locally. With public private partnerships and shared approaches we can restore ocean health and provide food and jobs for communities worldwide.”
In exploring solutions, emphasis will also be placed on the finance mechanisms and governance structures needed to ensure that actions have the impact and longevity to respond to global demands. Among the approaches discussed, inclusive partnerships that bring together public, private, community and civil society actors will be highlighted.
Coming out of the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, the blue economy comprises the food, jobs and opportunities for development provided by ocean and coastal assets. Blue growth emphasizes conservation and sustainable management of aquatic resources and equitable benefits to the coastal communities that rely on them.
Did you know?
- 80 % of all life on the planet is found in oceans
- The oceans provide half of the planet’s oxygen
- Blue carbon sinks (mangrove forests, seagrass beds, other vegetated ocean habitats) can sequester up to five times as much carbon as tropical forests
- More than 40 % of the global population lives within 100 km of the coast
- 13 of the world’s 20 megacities lie along coasts
- Nearly 700 million people live in low lying coastal areas less than 10 metres above sea level
- 10-12 % of the world’s population is dependent on fisheries and aquaculture for livelihoods.
- Over 90 % of the 58.3 million people engaged in the primary fisheries and aquaculture sector work in small-scale fisheries.
- The impact of IUU fishing is estimated at $10-23.5 billion annually.
- Potential economic gain from restoring fish stocks is estimated at $50 billion a year.