The 7th Ocean Conference concluded on a high note, with commitments “to tackle some of the greatest threats to our Ocean” as US Special Envoy John Kerry said yesterday.

President Surangel Whipps Jr. announced that 410 commitments were made this 7th Our Ocean Conference with the value of $16.35 billion.

Altogether, since 2014 when the first Our Ocean Conference was held, 1,800 commitments worth over $108 billion dollars have been pledged toward protecting and restoring the ocean.

“To get there, we need resources.  No one country, including the wealthiest economies, not China, not the United States has enough money to solve the problem.  Because no country has enough money to do this, we are …going to need the private sector, philanthropy, and businesses to step up and help us mobilize trillions we need to affect this transition in time,” Special Envoy Kerry said of the commitments and solutions to climate change impact and ocean health.

Responding to the announcement, Ambassador Dr. Fatumanava Pa’olelei Luteru, Permanent Mission of the State of Samoa, “It is good but we want to know more specifically how and when that commitment can be accessed.”

The commitments are both in cash and in-kind, such as the commitment to adopt an agreement such as Palau’s pledge to join the membership of ORRAA as the first SIDS member and push for zero Emission for shipping by 2050.

Some of the strong commitment outcomes anticipated include voting on the BBNJ Agreement (Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction), voting to protect Antarctica, and getting some of the island countries already halfway into their planning toward adopting Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

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