More than 300 commitments were made to protect and create sustainable and healthy oceans at the fifth Our Ocean Conference Oct. 29-30, 2018, in Bali, Indonesia. The $10.7 billion in pledges represented commitments from governments to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private companies.
The United States pledged its support for 15 initiatives that would affect fishing communities across the globe. They include commitments to improve community-based management of marine and coastal resources, build the resilience of fishing communities, improve understanding of the ocean’s role in climate and weather and promote sustainable waste management systems to prevent marine debris from entering the ocean.
One of the biggest announcements at the conference was the launch of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with United Nations Environment. More than 250 organizations have joined, including large multinationals such as Danone, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, and Unilever, to create a new economy where plastics never become waste—a circular approach to create a “new normal” for plastic packaging. Organizations joining the effort represent about 20 percent of the plastics produced in the world.
The sixth Our Ocean conference will take place Oct. 24-25, 2019, in Oslo, Norway.