The ocean matters to everyone, even if you don't live by it. Billions of people depend on the ocean for their main source of protein and millions of others draw their livelihood from the seas. Major economic activities, such as tourism, fisheries and trade, depend on a healthy ocean. The ocean is the primary regulator of the global climate. It supplies half the oxygen we breathe and absorbs a third of the carbon dioxide we produce.
We also matter to the ocean and can play a significant role in safeguarding its health and sustainability. Climate change, for instance, continues to lead to, among others, rising sea levels and an increase in extreme weather events that directly threaten the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities, especially in Small Island Developing States.
The forthcoming Ocean Conference will play an important role in putting in place a new chapter of ocean action - one that is driven by science, technology and innovation. It will also underscore the need to harness nature-based solutions including mangroves, salt marsh and seagrass that have been historically known to have major mitigation potential.
The first Ocean Conference, which took place in New York in June 2017, showed the world the status of our ocean and the impact of human activities. We know that there are pervasive changes taking place below water.
We also know that it is not a hopeless situation; there are solution to reversing the damage and allowing the ocean to heal. This year's Ocean Conference will bring together world leaders, scientists, the business community, change-makers and activists to join forces to inspire, create and invest in solutions.
The conference expects everyone who can make a difference to step up and make the necessary changes needed to transform their policies, businesses and lifestyles into something more sustainable, and less harmful and exploitative.