Bildtext får vara max två rader text. Hela texten ska högerjusteras om den bara ska innehålla fotobyline! Photo: B. Christensen/Azote
REFLECTIONS ON COVID-19
How COVID-19 is bringing ocean actors together
- Work by the COVID-19 task force, established by the United Nations Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business
- Over the course of 30 days, the COVID-19 task force developed a set of recommendations for urgent global political action
- A common theme has been the importance of engaging across industries, and across communities
Over the course of 30 days, industries, governments, researchers and NGOs mobilized to protect ocean supply chains and make sure they are more sustainable in the future
DISCLAIMER: This reflection presents insights that are relevant to the discussions related to both the causes for the pandemic and the solutions needed to build a more resilient, global society. Covid-19 affects all aspects of our lives, we want to help make sense of this tragedy, in empathy with all those suffering from it.
CLARITY IN TIMES OF CRISIS: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to change the way they work. Some have sought to find a positive angle to the crisis: is it possible to build back greener, bluer, better, more resilient?
And for others, the focus is more immediate: what can be done right now to protect the most vulnerable, to ensure livelihoods, and to address the complex challenges associated with this global crisis?
The COVID-19 task force established by the UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business tries to consider both timelines.
The platform consists of a cross-sectoral group of ocean-based industries, UN organizations, academic organizations (including the Stockholm Resilience Centre) and non-governmental organizations, and its COVID-19 task force and has already completed two “sprints” focused on key challenges and potentially arising opportunities.
The closing of borders, introduction of mandatory quarantine periods and other control measures have created major barriers to the movement of crews.
Keeping ocean supply chains going
The first sprint dealt with imminent threats to ocean supply chains. Over 80% of global trade is transported by cargo vessels, crewed by some 1.2 million seafarers. Stability in this workforce is provided by the constant cycling on and off of crews.
Yet the closing of borders, introduction of mandatory quarantine periods and other control measures have created major barriers to the movement of crews, with around 200,000 seafarers currently due or overdue to cycle off ships.
Over the course of 30 days, the COVID-19 task force assembled the latest views and knowledge on this issue from the shipping industry, port and harbor authorities, UN agencies and others to develop a set of recommendations for urgent global political action.
The recommendations were taken up in international policy circles and media (e.g. World Economic Forum; UN Secretary General Press Briefing) and contributed to the UN Secretary General’s recent call for seafarers’ to be designated as key workers.
Blue resilience through cross-sectoral collaboration
The second sprint focused on “Harnessing cross-sectoral ocean science collaboration to accelerate sustainable recovery” with focus on aquaculture, advancing technology and data-sharing, supply chains, and the potential for optimizing biodiscovery pipelines to develop novel pharmaceuticals from the ocean genome, including to address COVID-19.
A common theme throughout the work of the platform and its COVID19 Task Force has been the importance of engaging across industries, and across communities. In early June 2020, the platform launched a 10-year roadmap of science-based action towards ambitions of ocean stewardship.
Close connections with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and commitments to report on an annual basis on progress towards the ocean stewardship goals underscore the importance of platforms that can quickly convene cross-sectoral stakeholders and react on short timelines to crises, while also maintaining a long-term focus.
Podcast: What it takes to make science and business connect
General news | 2023-03-30
New ERC advanced grant boosts centre’s research on transformative change
Centre researcher Maja Schlüter receives an European Research Council (ERC) advanced grant of 2.5 million euros for a project that aims to build models of, with and for sustainability transformations
Research news | 2023-03-20
IPCC: It’s not too late if we take climate action now
In its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues a stark warning but also a message of hope
Research news | 2023-03-08
Growing “plastic smog” of 170 trillion particles afloat in the ocean
More than 170 trillion microplastic particles are floating in the World’s oceans, new study finds
Research news | 2023-03-06
Historic high seas treaty a win for planet and people
The new UN treaty on biodiversity in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction is a major step for ocean sustainability, according to centre researchers
Research news | 2023-03-02
Planetary boundaries must include justice, say researchers
Earth system boundaries must not only ensure the stability of the planet but also protect humans and other species from significant harm
Research news | 2023-03-01
World is set to miss UN targets for preventing deadly disasters
The global toll of disasters like the recent earthquake in Türkiye and Syria is on the rise because of a breakdown in communication between scientists and governments, according to a new report