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We recognize that oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustaining it and that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,1 provides the legal framework for the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans and their resources. We stress the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development, including through the contributions to poverty eradication, sustained economic growth, food security, creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and the marine environment and addressing the impacts of climate change. We therefore commit to protecting, and restoring, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems and to maintaining their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations, and to effectively applying an ecosystem approach and the precautionary approach in the management, in accordance with international law, of activities impacting on the marine environment, to deliver on all three dimensions of sustainable development.


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