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Canada and the Ocean Decade


Good morning everyone. I’m joining you from Mi’kma’ki, the tradional unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people.

Thank you for joining me today for Canada’s launch of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

The world’s oceans are facing many challenges, but I am encouraged by the promise of a decade of international action.

The Ocean Decade is an opportunity for marine nations to work together to turn the tide on ocean health by using science to tackle the many challenges facing our marine environments.

It will help us create the future we want for our oceans and build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working together we will improve our understanding of ocean conditions, better understand and predict consequences of ocean changes and better inform the ways we can lessen these impacts.

All of this will support a more sustainable development of our blue economy.

The problems facing our oceans are global and therefore our solutions must be as well.

By working together to foster international cooperation, share scientific research and create more innovative technologies, the world will be better positioned to grow its blue economies.

Only by working together can we turn the world’s Sustainable Development Goals into reality by 2030.

As a world leader in ocean science, Canada is already addressing major ocean issues in real, measurable and meaningful ways.

Whether it’s our marine biodiversity achievements, our efforts to combat the effects of climate change or our adoption of the Ocean Plastics Charter, Canada will continue to work with our partners to share knowledge and take coordinated action.

That’s how we can best support ocean innovation in prosperous, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible ways.

We are also developing a national, sustainable Blue Economy Strategy that will help grow Canada’s marine sectors and create stronger protection, more production and greater prosperity oceans and Coastal communities

During the Ocean Decade, Canada will support the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and other partners to advance ocean science and help build bridges across disciplines that connect people to this critical work.

To help kick off the decade of ocean science, I am pleased to release the National State of the Oceans Report: “Canada’s Oceans Now, 2020”.

This report provides a national overview on the status and trends affecting the physical environment, species and food webs in our marine ecosystems. It’s the third report in the State of the Ocean series, following the Atlantic and Arctic reports which were released in 2019 and 2020.

The Ocean Decade is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will shine a spotlight on the importance of ocean science and sectors and how our global ocean nations can work together to grow a stronger, more sustainable, global blue economy.

I look forward to your participation in the Ocean Decade. Together, we can make lasting contributions to the sustainable ocean that leaves a legacy far beyond our borders and for generations to come.

Thank you.

Canada is a proud supporter of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade). Canada’s Ocean Decade contributions are being led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

On November 27, 2018, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard offered Canada’s support for the Ocean Decade, announcing an investment of up to $9.5 million. This funding complements Canada’s commitments to other international ocean science efforts.

Engagement in the Ocean Decade aligns with Canada’s plans to advance its Blue Economy Strategy and our commitments under the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Our Ocean Decade efforts also contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other commitments such as:

Canada also provided personnel and financial support during the Ocean Decade planning phase (2018-20), including:

Stay tuned for more details on how Canada will continue to roll-out its efforts to support the Ocean Decade!

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