Industry State of Play
Ocean plays a vital role in the global economy, acting as a safeguard of humanity’s most basic needs - it provides oxygen, food, and energy, regulates the water cycles, transports goods in our globalized economy, and regulates the world’s temperature and biodiversity. Protecting the ocean so that it can continue to provide economic resilience and access to these services, requires complex coordination efforts among various actors with different priorities. In fact, the health of the environment and of the economy are intrinsically linked, requiring a constant balance between the quest for economic growth, livelihoods and well-being, and the ocean ecosystem's long-term stability.
Inclusive processes are at the heart of a successful marine spatial plan, ensuring that all actors with an interest in the ocean space can participate in a proactive dialogue on ocean protection and production.
Economic activities in one area will most likely have effects on international waters and other countries’ national waters. This is why it is important to ensure the alignment of policies with international commitments, for the establishment of well-functioning Sustainable Ocean Plans (SOPs). It is of high importance to bring this tool to fora such as COP28, where governments are encouraged to step up their commitment and action on the ocean, which can help make key contributions to the decarbonisation agenda. A successful SOP and dialogue with other countries can also help prevent and resolve conflicts, particularly as climate change is exacerbating issues around access to resources.
UNGC Ocean Management Working Group for Offshore Wind
The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, calls for 100% managed ocean within national jurisdictions, which can only be achieved through the establishment of Sustainable Ocean Plans. The Panel’s call to all coastal states is to establish effective ocean management plans by 2030, as the means to achieve a comprehensive approach to sustainably manage the ocean, and work towards safeguarding areas beyond national jurisdiction.
The UNGC Ocean Stewardship Coalition Ocean Management Working Group for offshore wind identifies challenges and opportunities in marine spatial planning in the offshore renewable industry. It has delivered a roadmap to integrate clean offshore renewable energy into climate-smart marine spatial planning and is working on four deliverables based on three overarching themes: co-existence and just transition, harmonization and data-sharing and net-positive biodiversity.