White House to present ground-breaking Ocean Justice Strategy at COP28
The strategy, described as a "vision for ocean justice," was crafted through public input, consultations with Tribal nations.
The White House is set to unveil its inaugural Ocean Justice Strategy at COP28 in Dubai, marking a significant step in the Biden Administration's commitment to environmental justice. Recognizing the vital role of indigenous communities as stewards of marine habitats, the strategy addresses the potential risks these communities face in terms of health and environmental impact.
Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council for Environmental Quality, emphasized the importance of the Ocean Justice Strategy, stating, "The ocean is a life source for us all, but because of historic injustices and underinvestment, some communities are hit harder by devastating climate change impacts."
The strategy, described as a "vision for ocean justice," was crafted through public input, consultations with Tribal nations, and roundtable discussions with U.S. Territories and Native Hawaiian organizations. Notably, it encompasses marginalized groups such as Black, Latino, and Native communities.
This initiative builds upon the Ocean Climate Action Plan released in March 2023, reflecting the administration's commitment to address historical inequities and enhance the well-being of communities connected to the ocean.
The Ocean Justice Strategy outlined in the Federal Register serves as a comprehensive framework, detailing the vision, goals, and objectives for coordinating ocean justice activities across the Federal government. It extends its influence to Tribal, Territorial, State, and local governments, regional management bodies, and non-governmental groups.
Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, emphasized the strategy's alignment with President Biden's commitment to addressing the climate crisis for all Americans. She stated, "This strategy sets out our values as the climate changes."
Beth Lowell, Vice President for the United States at Oceana, lauded the administration's dedication to hearing the voices of vulnerable communities impacted by climate change. The strategy's implications span crucial areas like offshore drilling, fisheries management, and plastic pollution reduction.
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Marce Gutierrez-Graudins, Founder and Executive Director of Azul, highlighted the significance of inclusivity in ocean conservation. She expressed excitement about the federal government's commitment to comprehensive policies that consider the needs of everyone, emphasizing that "conservation measures do not work unless they have majority buy-in."
In essence, the Ocean Justice Strategy emerges as a beacon for equitable environmental practices, aiming to protect the ocean for the benefit of all communities, particularly those that have historically borne disproportionate burdens.