April 19, 2024

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IUCN President unveils ocean breakthroughs to support biodiversity and climate

GENEVA, 12th October, 2023 (WAM) — Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has unveiled an ambitious global marine conservation and climate action initiative at the IUCN Leaders Forum in Geneva.

The Ocean Breakthroughs are science-based targets across five key ocean sectors: marine conservation, ocean renewable energy, shipping, aquatic food, and coastal tourism. Achieving them will deliver significant biodiversity gains as well as reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 percent by 2050.

Resulting from the joint efforts of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and developed with the support of the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, the Ocean Breakthroughs identify five turning points which should be reached by 2030 in order to achieve a healthy and productive ocean in 2050.

These points include: at least US$72 billion invested to protect, restore and conserve at least 30 percent of the ocean; at least 380 GW of installed offshore wind capacity and the availability of concessional finance to support renewable energy projects in developing countries; upskilling 450,000 seafarers, creating climate-adapted ports and achieving 5 percent of zero emission fuels in shipping; providing at least US$ 4 billion per year in support of resilient aquatic food systems to ensure sustainable and secure food supplies for three billion people; and sustainable coastal tourism.

Al Mubarak, who is also the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, said the initiative comes at a time when we know that nature can help protect us against climate change.

She added, “In the vast expanse of our ocean lies the potential for a brighter, more resilient and nature-rich world. At the IUCN Leaders Forum, I am honoured to introduce the Ocean Breakthroughs — a science-aligned blueprint which will see five pivotal sectors converge to make over a third of the emissions cuts we so greatly need. Let’s dive deep and unite in purpose for the world we hold dear.”

“Oceans provide us with every other breath we take,” said Al Mubarak. “Our very survival, from our daily bread and water to protection from extreme weather events, hinges upon healthy ocean ecosystems. The planet’s capacity to sustain us, to ensure our wellbeing, is critically dependent on our oceans.”

The Ocean Breakthroughs will act as a compass, not only for non-State actors (NSA) but also for Governments. The Ocean Breakthroughs aim at informing the Global Stocktake to ensure the potential of ocean-based climate solutions is well-recognised in the outcomes of the process to resume at COP28.

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