As pollution worsens and we continue on the climate path we’re on, people are taking steps to protect the ocean like at the 8th annual ocean conference, organized by nonprofit Oceana, in Panama.
At the event, international delegates pledged billions to protect the world’s oceans. Between the 341 commitments, the conference raised $20 billion, including funding for expanding and improving marine protected areas and biodiversity corridors.
Previous Our Ocean conferences have brought together more than 1,800 commitments worth approximately $108 billion.
The president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, led the event and spoke about the importance of bringing people together to discuss climate issues.
“As Panamanians we inhabit a narrow strip surrounded by blue,” Cohen said in a statement. “To protect it, we should all think of the ocean as a source of life and recognize it as a great ally in our fight against the climate and biodiversity crises.”
Panama itself has been putting in considerable work to protect its oceans, attempting to eliminate all sorts of plastic use in the country to cut down on pollution in the waters.
“With the protection of more than half of its seas, including extensive ocean reserves on both sides of the isthmus, Panama is not only ensuring the conservation of its marine biodiversity and the livelihoods of the people who depend on these ecosystems in the long-term, but is also positioned to lead a much more ambitious regional effort,” said Héctor Guzmán, a marine biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and co-founder of the marine conservation network MigraMar.
While all the commitments are great its just another step toward bettering our relationship with the ocean.
“There have been some fantastic commitments here, but we still need those actions to take place,” Tony Long, chief executive officer of the platform Global Fishing Watch said.
“The more we see the community come together to drive those actions forward, the quicker the health of our ocean will be maintained.”
This article aligns with the UN SDG Life Below Water.