Norway establishes international high-level panel on sustainable ocean economy

Resolution put forward by Norway was passed at the UN Environment Assembly in December

Today, Prime Minister Erna Solberg is launching the plans for a High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Ms Solberg will chair the panel, which will be made up of heads of state and government from a broad range of coastal states, including developing countries.

‘The oceans have huge potential when it comes to meeting the world’s need for resources and creating jobs and economic and social development. We will not be able to realise this potential without sustainable growth in ocean-based industries,’ said Ms Solberg.

The growing global population means that the world needs more resources and services from the oceans, such as food, energy, medicines, minerals and transport. The intention behind this initiative is to increase international awareness of the fact that sustainable use of the oceans and the maintenance of good environmental status can lead to significant value creation, and can enable us to meet some of the world’s most vital needs in the years to come.

‘I want to share Norway’s experience of combining conservation and use of marine resources. Norway has considerable expertise on ocean issues, which means that we can make an important contribution in this area. Our expertise is in demand internationally.

‘Through this initiative, we are taking a leading role in international efforts in this field, and are making a concrete contribution to the efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

‘Norway already has a reputation as a leader in this field, and we are a sought-after partner. Our efforts at international level to combat marine litter and microplastics are an important case in point. A resolution put forward by Norway was passed at the UN Environment Assembly in December, on the long-term elimination of discharge of litter and microplastics to the oceans,’ said Ms Solberg.

The panel will start its work in the first half of 2018, and will continue until 2020. A key deliverable will be a report on the importance of the ocean economy for sustainable development. The panel will work closely with the UN and will engage with other international initiatives in this field.


Streaming from the Press Conference where the Norwegian initiative was  launched 25 January 2018.


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Press Conference: Friends of the Ocean

2018 will be a year of unprecedented action on the ocean. Building on the momentum of The Ocean Conference held at the United Nations in New York, June 2017, the Friends of Ocean Action will be launched. Co-chaired by the convenors of the Ocean Conference, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson of Fiji and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Isabella Lövin, this will be an informal, multi-stakeholder coalition composed of about forty of some of the worlds most committed and influential activists and thought-leaders to help shape global action to save life in the Ocean. Significant business leaders are supporting the Friends of Ocean Action. Linked to the Special Envoy and these initiatives, the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, will also launch a major Inter-governmental Panel on the New Ocean Economy.

Speakers: Isabella Lövin, Dominic Kailash Nath Waughray, Erna Solberg, Peter Thomson, Marc R. Benioff


Government of Norway, press release, 2018-01-25.


Government of Sweden
Office of the Prime Minister (NO)
The Government -
United Nations


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