The world’s ocean is essential to life on our planet. It provides humanity’s largest source of protein and absorbs around a quarter of our carbon dioxide emissions and most of the world’s extra heat. The ocean also produces half of the world’s oxygen. Billions of people depend on it for their livelihoods, cultures and traditions. The output of the global ocean economy is estimated at US$1.5 trillion and this could more than double by 2030. Constituting more than 95% of Earth’s living space, the ocean contributes to the economic resilience of coastal and island states, whilst connecting all nations in global trade.
However, our activities are increasingly putting the health of the planet’s valuable ocean ecosystems in peril. This is not an issue that any single country can solve. That is why we, the Leaders of the Commonwealth, are calling for ambitious, coordinated action, while recognising our different abilities, to sustainably manage, protect and preserve our ocean now, for the sake of present and future generations.
Our Commitment to the Global Ocean
Acknowledging the importance of the global ocean in contributing significantly to the economic, social, and environmental health, as well as the cultural heritage, of all nations;
Recognising that the ocean contributes significantly to the development of cultural values of coastal peoples and is a major source of their livelihoods and subsistence;
Highlighting in particular the close linkages between the ocean, climate change, sustainable development, and the wellbeing of the people of the Commonwealth;