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What to Expect at the 2020 Ocean Conference

As ocean health continues to deteriorate, countries kick-off preparations to scale up solutions for marine conservation
UN Ocean Conference Preparatory Meeting, New York, 4 to 5 February 2020

31 January 2020 - Ministers and representatives from civil society organizations, the business community, intergovernmental and United Nations agencies will gather in New York next week to kick-off preparations for the Ocean Conference, slated to take place from 2 to 6 June in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Preparatory Meeting of the Ocean Conference, co-chaired by the Governments of Palau and Denmark, will define key areas of ocean action, and drive governments and other key decision-makers to deliver on their commitments. It will chart the course of action as the world prepares for the Conference, propelling much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global action.

The Conference comes at critical time when people everywhere are recognizing that environmental emergencies are posing increasing threats to their lives and livelihoods. More governments and people are strengthening their efforts to mobilize, create and implement solutions to counter significant threats – from climate change, exploitation of ecosystems to the loss of marine habitats and vastly diminishing biodiversity.

The ocean, often referred to as “the lungs of the planet” and “the world’s biggest carbon sink,” remains our greatest ally against climate change. But destructive human activities such as overfishing, land-based pollution and carbon emissions have led to dramatic changes in the earth’s richest biosphere – causing rising sea-levels, extreme weather events and marine heatwaves that are destroying entire coral reef ecosystems and altering life below and on land.

A protected and healthy ocean is a major resource for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – the planet’s blueprint for equality, peace and prosperity. The ocean sustains life on the planet, providing healthy food, green transport, renewable energy, medicines and minerals for a sustainable and an inclusive world.

Preparatory Meeting Programme is available here.

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