December 3, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario - Canada is an ocean nation with the longest coastline in the world. Canadians rely on healthy, marine ecosystems to sustain our economy, our food supply, and our coastal communities. But the ocean is a shared resource, and protecting it requires a coordinated global effort. Fueled by scientific evidence, coordinated efforts, and transformative action, Canada has joined other nations in developing a roadmap to a sustainable blue economy where protection, production and prosperity go hand in hand.
As a member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Prime Minister Trudeau, along with thirteen other heads of state or government, announced Canada’s endorsement of the Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: a Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity on December 2, 2020. Transformations outlines a set of priority ocean actions that countries can take to build a sustainable blue economy across five areas: ocean wealth, ocean health, ocean equity, ocean knowledge, and ocean finance, as well as a commitment to sustainably manage 100 percent of the ocean area under national jurisdiction by 2025, guided by sustainable ocean plans.
Today, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, participated in a national event to reinforce Canada’s commitment to the sustainable ocean economy. The virtual panel discussion entitled, How Ocean Protection Can Fuel a New Blue Economy and Drive Prosperity with the Ocean Frontier Institute, centered around Canada’s significant potential to grow its own blue economy and how it can drive sustainable growth.
In support of the endorsement and the Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities, the Minister also announced the Government of Canada is providing $4M in funding to the World Bank PROBLUE fund to assist developing countries in producing sustainable ocean plans, bringing Canada’s total support for PROBLUE to $69 million and maintaining Canada’s position as the fund’s current top donor.
The Minister also announced the Government of Canada’s plan to engage with Canadians to develop a blue economy strategy, beginning early in the new year. The strategy will outline a future vision for Canada’s ocean-related sectors and guide future government actions and investments toward the goal of a sustainable, ocean economy. The Government of Canada will be consulting widely with the provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, industry, conservationists, and all Canadians in the development of the Blue Economy Strategy.
Building on the Transformations ocean action plan, seizing the opportunity of the blue economy will help Canada build back better – bluer – through fishing, marine transportation, shipbuilding, energy, tourism and recreation, and other ocean industries. With the world’s longest coastline, Canada has a unique opportunity to be a world leader in developing a sustainable blue economy.
“As an ocean nation, the strength of Canada’s economy depends on the health of our oceans. A stronger, more sustainable ocean economy will create new jobs, strengthen our food supply chain, and protect our ocean resources for generations to come. Our Blue Economy Strategy will chart a clear path for Canadians toward a future that is driven by ocean protection and prosperity”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- PROBLUE is a multi-donor trust fund that “supports the sustainable and integrated development of marine and coastal resources in healthy oceans.” PROBLUE has four pillars: fisheries and aquaculture, marine pollution, oceanic sectors, and seascape management. To date, PROBLUE has received pledges of approximately US$110 million from Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, France and Germany. Canada’s is currently the fund’s top donor.
- The blue economy is an economy driven by sustainable, ocean resources and accounts for about $31.65 billion annually in GDP. It is the source of almost 300,000 Canadian jobs with direct, indirect and induced benefits in sectors as diverse as fisheries and aquaculture, marine transportation, ocean energy and technology, recreation and tourism. There are many spin-off benefits businesses and industries can derive from supporting the blue economy across Canada, including from inland provinces.
- The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy is co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, and the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, Jr. Canada’s Prime Minister has been a member since March 2019.
- Canada continues to build on Canada’s 2018 G7 Presidency priority on oceans, advancing the Ocean Plastics Charter to address marine plastic pollution and implementing the Charlevoix Blueprint on Healthy Oceans, Seas, and Resilient Coastal Communities.
- With Canada’s endorsement of the Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy a Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity from the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Blue Economy, and with Canada recently joining the United Kingdom’s Global Ocean Alliance, the Government of Canada is firmly committed to advocate for the adoption of a global target of 30 percent marine conservation by 2030, at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15 in China in 2021.