Healthy Ocean Is Foundation of Life, Secretary-General Tells Investment Forum, Urges Greater Focus on Sustainable Fisheries, Clean Energy to Create Blue Economy

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Second Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum, in Estoril, Portugal, today:

The ocean is the foundation of life itself.  As this Forum reminds us, it’s also the foundation of many economies and a fundamental source of prosperity and jobs.  But we are destroying the health of our ocean — from climate change and rising sea levels, to overfishing, choking plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and overdevelopment.

Changing the tide means changing mindsets — and changing behaviour.  It requires greater focus on sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, offshore wind and tidal energy projects, and green tourism and shipping — as underlined at last year’s UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon.

The proliferation of bonds, funds and other financial measures to promote a sustainable ocean also demonstrates the dividends of investing in the blue economy.

At the same time, global political momentum is growing to conserve and sustainably use our ocean and its resources.  For example, once in force, the recent agreement on marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction will create new opportunities to invest in a sustainable future for our ocean.

A sustainable blue economy is one of the greatest opportunities of our time.  Let’s ensure that our ocean and its extraordinary gifts sustain communities, prosperity and human health for generations to come.

For information media. Not an official record.