2020 was to be the ‘Ocean Super Year’, with a series of planned ocean policy events to determine the future of our blue planet. Like so many other things, COVID-19 has brought a different focus. Today, World Oceans Day 2020, is instead a time to reflect on the lessons learned from the pandemic. First, we are all connected with each other and with the natural world. Scientists have suggested that humans are to blame for this crisis, confirming that the closer contact between wild animals and humans as a result of the widespread destruction of nature facilitated the spread of the virus to humans.

If we have learned anything from the Covid-19 pandemic it is that we are all inextricably connected with each other and the natural world. Without greater balance and cooperation we cannot survive as a species. Human wellbeing is at the heart of what we do.  Our work, to protect the ocean is driven by the reality that humankind needs a healthy planet that can sustain life, for the sake of our homes, health, livelihoods, and food. Many have taken the rupture to our lives caused by Covid-19 to think about this and about how we can rebuild better, learning from the pandemic to achieve a greater balance, and to protect the fundamentals which make life on Earth possible. Doing so is a necessity. 

Decision makers and key stakeholders need to agree a course of action that will give our Blue Planet the best chance of survival. To this end, a group of civil society and philanthropic organisations - including Seas At Risk – have developed a joint call to RISE UP for the ocean. This blue call to action was handed to UN Secretary General Guterres in early February 2020.

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