The Ocean in the 2012 Earth Summit: A Brief Background

While perhaps well-intentioned, States, and in particular the major fishing States, have failed to live up to the relevant provisions of the Rio Declaration and its progeny, particularly for the ocean. Twenty years later, it is imperative to ensure that the principles, goals and targets that were agreed to in prior negotiations are implemented, and to forge a new way forward.

The principles, goals and targets highlighted in this brief continue to be highly relevant today. There can be no healthy planet Earth, no “green economy”, and indeed no sustainable future for humanity, without a healthy ocean. States should continue the tradition of the Earth Summits and reach for a bold, courageous and visionary agreement at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to ensure the future viability of ocean ecosystems.

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