At the 2023 Our Ocean Conference in Panama, the U.S. delegation, headed by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, worked with allies and partners to tackle the climate crisis, combat marine pollution, support sustainable fisheries, establish effective marine protected areas, promote a sustainable blue economy, and advance maritime security.
Over the course of the conference, the U.S. delegation made 77 announcements, valued at nearly $6 billion USD. The six Our Ocean Conference areas of action under which the United States announced initiatives include:
- Climate Change: This area of action highlights the nexus between the world’s climate and ocean, including the role of ocean-based climate solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve global climate resilience. The United States made 30 announcements totaling nearly 5 billion USD under the climate change area of action. U.S. initiatives aim to promote green shipping; offshore renewable energy; the health, resilience, and vitality of coastal communities; and climate observation, modeling, and research, among other issues.
- Marine Protected Areas: This area of action focuses on the importance of well-designed and effectively-managed marine protected areas (MPAs) as tools for biodiversity conservation and management, as well as their contributions to sustainable development writ large. The United States made 5 announcements totaling nearly 11 million USD under the MPA area of action. The United States plans to support MPAs domestically and in the national waters of partner countries, as well as enhance coral reef conservation and resilience.
- Sustainable Fisheries: This area of action underscores the importance of biodiversity and long-term fish stock sustainability to protect food security and promote employment opportunities. The United States made 7 announcements totaling more than $665 million USD under the sustainable fisheries area of action. U.S. initiatives aim to improve climate resilience in fisheries and advance transparency in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
- Marine Pollution: This area of action raises awareness of global efforts aimed at reducing marine pollution of all kinds and restoring and maintaining a clean ocean. The United States made 10 announcements totaling more than 200 million USD under the marine pollution area of action. U.S. initiatives aim to help combat marine pollution from a variety of sources, as well as support the UN Development Programme’s mission to address the FSO Safer oil tanker.
- Sustainable Blue Economies: This area of action promotes sustainable and inclusive blue economic activities that create pathways to long-term blue economic development by addressing the range of stressors threatening ocean health. The United States made 11 announcements totaling more than 73 million USD under the sustainable blue economies area of action. U.S. announcements were cross-cutting and addressed several areas that will promote blue economic development, including technology innovation, circular economy, and tackling the climate crisis.
- Maritime Security: This area of action seeks to encourage international collaboration and create awareness among all stakeholders of the importance of creative and innovative solutions to help achieve a sustainable and secure maritime sector. The United States made 14 announcements totaling more than 72 million USD under the maritime security area of action. U.S. announcements focused on a variety of sectors to strengthen maritime law enforcement and enhance maritime security.
The full list of U.S. announcements at the 2023 Our Ocean Conference may be found on our website. Announcements at Our Ocean Conferences are a mix of new initiatives and recent initiatives that have been discussed since the time of the previous Conference.