The move is part of efforts to mitigate global challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a written statement released by the Ocean Panel Secretariat on Thursday, leaders of Indonesia, Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Palau, and Portugal have committed to ensuring nearly 30 million square kilometer of their national waters are managed in a sustainable way before 2025.
"Indonesia is convinced of sustainable sea management. (With the help of) Our abundant maritime resources (we) will be able to restore the economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lay a basis for more sustainable development in the future," Indonesian President Joko Widodo said.
The leaders of the 14 countries have also pledged to place healthy oceans on the highest agenda of global policy to expedite economic recovery in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
At the forum, President Widodo also stressed Indonesia's commitment to turn the country into a global maritime axis with the motto ‘Jalasveva Jayamahe — Our Glory is at the Ocean’.
The 14 countries launched a document on ‘Transformation Agenda for Sustainable Ocean Economy: Vision for Protection, Empowerment and Welfare’ on Wednesday (December 2, 2020). The agenda covers 74 priority actions focusing on five critical areas — ocean wealth, ocean health, ocean equity, ocean knowledge, and ocean finance.
The action agenda of blue oceans, if realized, will be able to help produce six times as much food from marine resources, produce 40 times as much renewable energy, promote the welfare of millions of people living in poverty, and contribute to reducing one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the Earth’s temperature from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the panel.
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