High level roundtable at Global Oceans Action Summit

On the final day of the Global Oceans Action Summit Dutch Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma has called for action to restore the health of the world’s oceans. “It takes courage to see beyond borders and act together to achieve healthier oceans and food security. Action is required, and this is the message I gave to my colleagues today. We must make progress and that begins now", said Minister Dijksma.

On the last day of the summit considerable efforts were made by over 70 heads of government, ministers, captains of industry and NGOs to improve the health of oceans and preserve fish stocks as a source of income and food. The world population is set to grow by 2 billion to reach over 9 billion people by 2050. Fish is already one of the most important sources of protein, while 30% of fish stocks are under severe pressure.

Action agenda

A declaration pledging healthier oceans and increased global food security is expected to be issued on Friday. An action agenda for blue growth is also being prepared. Many livelihoods, such as fisheries and tourism, depend on the ocean.

‘Protecting the oceans is a top priority’

The next World Ocean Summit will be chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry on 16 and 17 June 2014. He addressed the conference via a video link: "We look forward to the results of the Global Oceans Action Summit. And we will continue this work at the next oceans conference in June in the United States". Protecting our oceans and food security is a top priority for the US Secretary of State Kerry and for the world. "We all need to work together on this challenge", he said.

Coral Conservation Partnership with Grenada, Caribbean

With the support of the Netherlands, the Island State of Grenada in the Caribbean will launch a project for the conservation of coral and fish. This will ensure that tourism and fisheries will continue to drive economic growth. Grenada is highly dependant on the ‘blue economy’ through revenues from cruise ships, diving tourism and fishing. The Netherlands is investing a total of one million dollars in knowledge with the requirement that the business community also contributes through public private partnerships. In this context, Grenada and the Netherlands have also agreed to set up an Oceans Governance Institute to build up and exchange knowledge in the Caribbean.

Minister Dijksma initiated the partnership with the Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell during the summit. "Grenada has the courage to pursue a long-term vision. The islands are serious about protecting fragile coral. This requires knowledge in many areas, such as climate change and sustainable fisheries. The Netherlands has this knowledge in house and we will work together to improve conservation and economic growth in the Caribbean."