September 15-16, 2016
September 15-16, 2016
Life on Earth depends on the ocean. A healthy ocean is central to human wellbeing. The ocean feeds billions of people, employs millions of workers, and generates trillions of dollars in the world economy.
Yet, as vast as our ocean and its resources are, they are not infinite. And today the ocean is under tremendous pressure from human activity – including unsustainable and illegal fishing, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts.
Secretary of State John Kerry hosted the 2016 Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C., on September 15 to 16 to catalyze actions to protect our ocean from these threats and to empower a new generation to lead the way toward a healthy and sustainable ocean.
Our future is inextricably linked to the future of our ocean.
Participants in the third Our Ocean conference, held September 15-16 in Washington, D.C., announced over 136 new initiatives on marine conservation and protection valued at more than $5.24 billion, as well as new commitments on the protection of almost four million square kilometers (over 1.5 million square miles) of the ocean.
To date the three Our Ocean conferences have generated commitments valued at over $9.2 billion to protect our ocean and committed to protect 9.9 million square kilometers (3.8 million square miles) of ocean – an area the size of the United States. The commitments focus on the key ocean issues of our time: marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean.
We look forward to building on these and previous commitments at the conferences in 2017 hosted by the European Union in Malta, in 2018 in Indonesia, and in 2019 in Norway.
To view a PDF of the commitments please click here.
The U.S. Department of State, Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and the Sustainable Oceans Alliance co-hosted the “Our Ocean, One Future: Leadership Summit” as a parallel event to the Our Ocean conference, with the support of the Georgetown Science, Technology & International Affairs Program and the Georgetown Global Futures Initiative. High-level ocean leaders joined a competitively-selected group of 150 university students to build leadership strategies to spur action on the threats to our ocean. The Summit engaged the next generation of political leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and civil society to identify solutions and commit to actions to protect our ocean so it can continue to sustain us all into the future.