The Ocean strongly contributes to our well-being but is severely impacted by human activities.
The urgent need to identify and implement solutions for sustainable Ocean use has led to many international initiatives promoting innovative or underused solutions, from the recognition of traditional or indigenous sustainable practices to the implementation of innovative finance mechanisms. We are now in year one of the UN Decade for Oceans Science for Sustainable Development and there is an opportunity to harness science for action and real change in the Ocean. Here, I propose seven broad domains of action (Figure1) to convey the message to policy makers, the private sectors, and civil society at large, that the evidence and knowledge base to transform our Ocean into a paragon of sustainability is already there. What is needed now is action.
One of the most obvious domains of action is to directly improve Ocean health. A second domain of action for a sustainable Ocean is to ensure social equity and justice is present in all Ocean matters. A third domain of action is the identification and investment in sustainable economic opportunities. Ensuring a strong scientific integration represents a fifth domain of action. Improved ocean literacy and education is the sixth domain of action. Inclusive and holistic governance is the last domain of action. Co-produced, adaptive instruments to foster sustainable use of ocean resources at multiple organizational scales are both supported by the six previous domains and provide the enabling conditions for their realizations.
The Ocean is unique. It was home of the birth of life on our Planet and currently supports vital and valuable services and contributions to human well-being. Preserving the Ocean is preserving our way of life. Now that there is no place in the Ocean that is not impacted by our activities, we should collectively place it at the center of our lives and action the levers that are already identified to start a new era of a sustainable relationships with our Ocean.
The seven domains of actionfor a sustainable ocean
Claudet & al. (2021) | CELL
Joachim CLAUDET | Paris, France