While humanity has depended on the ocean for millennia, the extent and diversity of today’s ocean uses are unprecedented. Many ocean-based industries are growing faster than the global economy, and in many cases exponentially. Driven in part by technological innovation, the ocean is widely seen as the next economic frontier and the solution for sustainable future human development. Yet this is unfolding in a complex and uncertain governance landscape and at a time when ocean ecosystems face the triple threat of the climate, biodiversity, and pollution crises. Concerns have been raised over what this new ocean reality entails and who it is supposed to benefit.
As commercial uses of the ocean accelerate and climate change impacts worsen, marine ecosystems and the human communities who depend on them face unprecedented cumulative pressures and the emergence of new interconnected risks. The ocean, its coastlines, and coastal communities are at the front-line of climate change and are being massively impacted by increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The devastating consequences of such crises are disproportionately affecting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and (coastal) Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – who rely on the ocean for livelihoods, nutrition, and revenue – widening inequalities and hitting marginalized groups (such as women) particularly hard.
Interactions and conflicts among users are also intensifying as the ocean space becomes more crowded. Addressing and mitigating ocean risks – the cumulative combination of growing exposures, vulnerabilities, and hazards – is critical to forward-thinking action. How financial institutions define “risks”, for instance, might be different from the definitions used by scientists, potentially under-accounting for the complex nature of ocean risks and the materiality of non-financial information. Risk assessment in the Anthropocene is made ever more complicated as the baseline of stressors and hazards is rapidly shifting.
Goals and objectives
In this session, we will explore the latest knowledge on emerging ocean risks in the Anthropocene, and the role finance can play in driving investment into marine and coastal natural capital, reducing ocean risks, strengthening resilience in coastal communities, and ultimately assisting a transformation towards a just and equitable ocean economy.
Stockholm+50 offers an important opportunity to shift the trajectory of our common future, from one of decline to one of recovery. It can help accelerate actions that not only reduce risks but also set the foundation for actions that tackle inequalities and create prosperity within planetary boundaries. This high-level roundtable is intended to contribute to these discussions, help innovate systems thinking, and accelerate action.
This seminar is organized in collaboration between the Global Resilience Partnership, and the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance. It is part the initiative “Economy and Finance for a Just Future on a Thriving Planet” which has been commissioned by the Stockholm+50 secretariat to support the discussions leading up to the Stockholm+50 conference and contribute with a synthesis report delivered to the conference. The initiative is led by the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
15.30-15.40 CET Opening remarks
- Albert Norström, Head of Knowledge and Evidence, Global Resilience Partnership & Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
- Karen Sack, Executive Director, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance
15.40-16.30 CET Panel discussion – “The Anthropocene ocean, and its associated new ocean risk landscape”
Moderator: Albert Norström
- Jean-Baptiste Jouffray, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
- Michael Beck, AXA Chair in Coastal Resilience & University of California
- Louise Heaps, World Wildlife Foundation
- Peter A Murray, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)
16.30-16.40 CET Short break
16.40-17.30 CET Panel discussion – “Shifting towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy – the role of finance ”
Moderator: Karen Sack
- Beate Hollweg, Sustainable Finance Expert, European Environment Agency
- Markus Müller, Global Head of Deutsche Bank’s Chief Investment Office
- Serge Raemaekers, Director ABALOBI
- Angelique Pouponneau, Deputy Fellowship Director and Policy Adviser, Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
17.30-17.45 CET Concluding remarks
Helen Ågren, Ambassador-at-large, Ocean Affairs at Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
The featured image shows cargo ships off the coast of Cyprus.