Government of Canada announces support for global ocean sustainability efforts

News release

November 28, 2018

Nairobi, Kenya - Healthy and sustainable oceans are of critical importance to Canada and the world. They provide food to billions of people worldwide, and are a growing source of recreation and tourism. They sustain livelihoods and create good jobs and also serve as vital corridors for transportation and trade. The sustainable use of our oceans is an example of how protecting the environment and growing the economy go together.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced up to $1 million to the World Economic Forum’s Friends of Ocean Action and for the Government of Canada’s support to the United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean.

The Friends of Ocean Action engages companies, start-ups, academic institutions, civil society and international organizations, and experts with the scale and ambition to fast-track solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean. This includes plastics pollution, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and sustainable ocean production, marine protected areas, ocean data and technology and financing ocean innovation.

The UN Special Envoy for the Ocean leads the United Nations outreach efforts inside and outside of the UN system, and monitors the 1400 voluntary on oceans protections commitments, are fully analyzed and implemented.

This funding will help advance the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

This investment in ocean sustainability highlights the leadership role Canada is taking internationally to shape and establish policies for marine conservation globally.

Today’s announcement was made during the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, which Canada is co-hosting with Kenya and Japan. It is the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy.

Additional multimedia

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, and Co-Chair of the Friends of Ocean Action.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, and Co-Chair of the Friends of Ocean Action.

Quotes

“Canada is putting action behind our international ocean commitments. We are a reliable partner and proud to support the Friends of Ocean Action and UN Special Envoy for the Ocean. Together, their work in mobilizing action for the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans is making a true difference.”
 
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Canada is proud to be co-hosting, with Kenya and Japan, this first-ever global high-level conference on the sustainable blue economy. This support to the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean demonstrates how Canada is working together with its partners to address global challenges and achieve common goals.”

Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations

“A healthy ocean is essential to life on Planet Earth. That health is under threat due to climate change, pollution and harmful fishing practices. I welcome Canada’s leadership in mobilizing action from business, civil society, communities, governments and policymakers to implement the solutions urgently needed to conserve and sustainably use the ocean's resources”

Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, and Co-Chair of the Friends of Ocean Action.

“The Friends of Ocean Action is a unique multi-stakeholder platform for action that brings together leading NGOs, companies and international organisations to help unlock significant new opportunities and innovations to help save the ocean. It is already delivering real results, for example in advancing new actions on ocean plastic pollution, marine protected areas and illegal fishing. Canada’s commitment to support this unique initiative is warmly welcomed - it will help the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean catalyse even more ideas and commitments from the Friends of Ocean Action platform and turn them into tangible improvements in ocean health by 2020, in line with the Life Under Water SDG.

Dominic Waughray, Head of the Centre for Global Public Goods, World Economic Forum

Quick facts

  • Ocean sustainability

    Canada hosted a G7 ministerial meeting on the theme of Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy in September, where Minister Wilkinson announced support for sustainable oceans and fisheries with an investment of up to $11.6 million to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and by becoming a signatory to the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to address this harmful form of marine litter.

  • Canada endorsed the Commonwealth Blue Charter which calls for ambitious and coordinated action to promote the sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources, and protect and preserve our world’s oceans. In April of this year, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will become a Commonwealth Blue Charter Champion on oceans observation.

  • Canada is currently co-hosting (with the Kenya and Japan) the first ever international Sustainable Blue Economy Conference aimed at helping the world transition to a blue economy that is prosperous, inclusive and sustainable. The conference runs from November 26 to 28 in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Ocean conservation

    In 2010, Canada agreed to marine conservation targets established under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (known as Aichi Target 11) to conserve 10% of coastal and marine areas through effectively managed networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2020. This commitment was reconfirmed in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 14.

  • Canada currently recognizes 7.9% of its marine and coastal areas as protected.

  • In November 2016, the Prime Minister launched the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways, while also growing our economy.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information:

Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary  
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceansand the Canadian Coast Guard
343-548-7863
Jocelyn.lubczuk@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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