The oceans have been at the top of the international political agenda in 2017 with more and more people seeing that we need a new paradigm for how we safeguard our oceans.
Having just returned from the first Large Ocean Nations Forum in Malta, I can safely say that one of building blocks of this new paradigm is international collaboration for sustainable Blue Growth. Hosted by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Government of the Faroe Islands in close cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Commonwealth Secretariat, our role was to facilitate the discussions and lead the delegations towards greater collaboration and dialogue on successful Blue Growth practices. The term “Large Ocean Nations” – in contrast to small island states – is a clever spin as it reflects that these nations control vast oceanic areas with corresponding economic and political potential. They share responsibility and commitment to the health of the ocean and are fundamental actors in the emerging international ocean governance agenda. Participants in the Large Ocean Nations Forum on Blue Growth came from Cabo Verde, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Grenada, Iceland, Malta, Mauritius, Norway, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Vanuatu, and the European Union.