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John Kerry’s Global Ocean Conference Raises 400+ Commitments Worth $16 Billion to Protect Ocean Health

John Kerry at Our Oceans Conference – Official Photos released by Jesse Alpert/U.S. Department of State

The seventh annual Our Ocean Conference concluded recently with the announcement a grand tally of 410 commitments to protect the the oceans and the living beings surrounding them—pledges worth $16.35 Billion. The conference, co-hosted by the Republic of Palau and the United States, was the first to be held in a small island developing state.

Titled “Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity,” the conference highlighted the importance of a healthy ocean to small island developing states—and to all communities where the ocean is a primary source of sustenance.

More than 600 participants representing over 70 foreign delegations attended—all to commit to concrete action to advance ocean issues (see the list below).

Former U.S. Senator John Kerry is not only the current Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. He started the Our Ocean Conferences in 2014—and since then they have mobilized more than 1,800 commitments worth nearly $108 billion across the issue areas of the conference, which include sustainable fisheries, sustainable blue economies, marine protected areas, maritime security, marine pollution, and climate change.

The conference highlighted the importance of ocean-based climate solutions, including shipping decarbonization, marine nature-based solutions, and offshore renewable energy, in keeping the 1.5-degree target within reach and improving global climate resilience.

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“Together, we realized extraordinary new commitments and ambition across many sectors,” said Kerry. “Our goal this week was to shine a spotlight on what is happening to our ocean – not just talk, but real commitments to take real actions and make a real difference.”

The conference also featured 22 events focusing on issues from marine protected areas and blue foods to clean shipping and ocean-climate finance.

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“We recognize the stakes, and we are committed to acting with the urgency this moment demands,” insisted Kerry.

Commitments by issue area

Climate: 89 commitments worth $4.9 billion
Sustainable fisheries:60 commitments worth $668 million
Sustainable blue economies: 89 commitments worth $5.7 billion
Marine protected areas:58 commitments worth $1.3 billion
Maritime security: 42 commitments worth $358 million
Marine pollution: 71 commitments worth $3.3 billion

Commitment videos from the range of donors—from citizen, to governmental, business, and nonprofit—can be browsed here. The full agenda is available on the conference website,

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