Lisbon, 8 June, 2020 – On this year’s World Oceans Day, ANP|WWF and Oceano Azul Foundation launched the Declaration for a Blue Economy, defending the importance of the Ocean to be considered an integral part of a just and sustainable economic recovery for Portugal.
In the Declaration, ANP|WWF and the Oceano Azul Foundation point out three paths to a blue agenda within the recovery plan for the national economy: protecting and recovering marine life, transitioning to a sustainable, circular economy, and reinforcing the role of Portugal as an international leader in the ocean agenda.
The two organisations established an agreement of collaborating over a period of three years. Both assert that Portugal must look to the ocean, including this fundamental resource and asset in its national discourse, as well as political and economic options, in particular regarding the Portuguese economy.
“It is essential that Portugal does not miss the opportunity to make the ocean that defines and distinguishes us a part of the solution. The ocean is a fundamental link in this chain of life and health and must be considered in the political discourse and action of the post-pandemic economic recovery,” the Declaration reads.
Ângela Morgado, Executive Director of ANP|WWF says that “The absence of the critical role of the Ocean in the discourse on Portugal’s post-pandemic recovery is clear. Portugal has more maritime area than any other European country. We depend on our Ocean not only for food, but also to sequester carbon, produce oxygen and absorb heat, at a time when the global temperature continues to rise. It is essential that the integrity of our Ocean is properly considered in the economic recovery plan, as it is fundamental for our own survival. ”
For Tiago Pitta e Cunha, CEO of the Oceano Azul Foundation, ““The relationship between the ocean and the climate, and between conservation and the economy, are the engines of change that cannot wait any longer. Portugal has a great responsibility to recognize the Ocean as an integral part of a sustainable economic recovery ”.
Amidst a time that will go down in history as the year the world faced the COVID-19 pandemic. An unprecedented threat to public health, which has shaken our confidence in the safety of our societies and pushed the world into a deep economic recession. The destruction of nature, the climate crisis and pandemics are the result of an economic development model based on the old economy, which depletes the planet and threatens the survival of societies.
The importance of nature for our survival and the link between nature and human health has now been demonstrated as never before.
In the coming years both ANP|WWF and the Oceano Azul Foundation will develop actions covering sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas and campaigns to change behaviours and attitudes, with a view to the conservation and sustainability of the ocean, the great mark in our nation that cannot be left out of the Portuguese economic recovery programme.