Ocean Action! – and Ocean Week 2020 – were meant to be among the first events in Europe to open the ‘Ocean Super Year’. What a strange yet warm feeling it is to look back on that day today, when we could all still gather to discuss the actions needed to achieve the healthy and resilient ocean on which we depend.

Ocean Action!

While the focus now is naturally on the pandemic – its dramatic impact and the measures to deal with the health crisis and social and economic fallouts – the biodiversity and climate crises must not be forgotten. These crises need to be dealt with together as they have the same root causes: the destruction and over-exploitation of the natural world.

More than ever, we need a healthy ocean and recovery investments provide opportunities to re-build the ocean’s health and resilience. The financial support for recovery of maritime sectors, for example, provides an opportunity to secure green jobs and promote the sustainable use of marine natural resources within planetary boundaries. The Blue Manifesto, with its roadmap to achieve healthy seas by 2030, is very timely and should guide efforts for a green transition in the context of the European Green Deal. The many constructive and creative ideas provided during the conference  are a vital complement to the Blue Manifesto and we will keep pushing for all of it to be taken into account on the road to recovery.