Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic establishes partnership with UN Environment

Signing the partnership agreement between Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Standing: Norwegian Minister of Fisheries Harald T. Nesvik, who opened the signing ceremony. Seated, left to right: Jan-Gunnar Winther, director of Centre for the Oceans and the Arctic, Erik Solheim, executive director of UNEP, and Øyvind Fylling-Jensen, managing director of Nofima. Photo: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries

The partners will work together on a range of issues, such as tackling problems related to marine pollution – especially the huge amounts of plastic in the ocean.

“It is absolutely essential to defend the long-term health of arctic and international seas, and we at UN Environment look forward to working with the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic. We must raise the world’s ambitions for building a sustainable blue economy, and mitigating the negative effects of plastic and other pollution on the ocean,” says Erik Solheim, executive director of UNEP.

The partnership agreement was signed Monday 29 October during the well-known annual international conference “Our Ocean”, which was held in Bali this year. Minister of Fisheries Harald T. Nesvik opened the signing ceremony on behalf of the Norwegian Government.

“I’m glad the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic will be collaborating with UNEP. Marine enterprises are incredibly important for Norway, and we have a leading role internationally. The Centre has an important task as we pave the way for a sustainable blue economy,” said Nesvik.

The agreement – a Memorandum of Understanding – establishes a strategic framework in which to achieve common goals and exchange information. Through this partnership, the Centre and UNEP will generate knowledge-based foresight studies on the marine economy, firmly rooted in the international sustainability goals.

“It will be inspiring to work with UNEP to place the ocean on the international agenda,” said Director Jan-Gunnar Winther of the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic.

“Together, we will communicate about how to balance preservation and utilization, especially in the High North. Our task will be to transform the UN’s global sustainability goals into concrete reality in communities along the coast of Norway,” said Winther.

The agreement was signed by Øyvind Fylling-Jensen, managing director of the food research institute Nofima, which administrates the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic.