(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Your Excellences, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Ladies and gentlemen. There is no doubt. We are at a critical point in time. The state of our oceans is deteriorating at an alarming pace.
There are enormous tasks ahead of us. But there are also grounds for optimism.
I would like to mention just one example. As an advocate for the UN Global Goals, I have had the privilege of being part of the SeaBOS initiative; a result of an ongoing dialogue between scientists and seafood companies.
SeaBOS stands for Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship and it involves the largest companies of the global seafood industry. These key actors are fierce competitors. But in this initiative both the CEO:s and the operational staff have managed to come together, setting new standards for their industry. They are now leading a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean.
This is just one example of business not only adapting to change, but actually leading it. And it seems we will see more such examples in the near future; not least within the framework of the Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform.
So, yes, there are grounds for optimism. But as we all know: there is no time to spare.
We all need to do what we can, to do it wisely, and most importantly: we need to do it now.
Because a healthy ocean is not a luxury item, but a necessity for survival. For all of us.