The health of the ocean has been rapidly deteriorating in recent years, largely due to climate change as well as the over-exploitation of natural resources, habitat destruction, pollution and littering. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on all stakeholders to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. A healthy and productive ocean will be key to deliver on all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as the world needs more sustainable food, energy and transport.
“The rapid deterioration of ocean health, which deeply affects biodiversity, coastal communities and the health of the planet, must be urgently addressed,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “The deterioration is caused by human activity, and we need to create a tipping point where a critical mass of businesses use their capacity and competence to solve this challenge.”
By signing up to the principles, companies will commit to taking action to prevent pollution, manage their use of marine resources to ensure long-term sustainability, and be transparent about their ocean-related activities and impacts.
According to a recent report by the UN Global Compact, a healthy marine environment is necessary for many companies’ long-term operations and it can offer significant business opportunities too.
The Sustainable Ocean Principles were developed in consultation with stakeholders from the private sector, NGOs, academic institutions and UN agencies. They are intended to build upon and supplement the overarching Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
The Sustainable Ocean Principles will be formally launched at the meeting of the UN Global Compact Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business on Monday, 23 September on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
The Sustainable Ocean Principles are available here.