Dubai, UAE: Her Excellency Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment led the UAE delegation at the Ocean Action: Immersed in Change, a high-level stakeholder event that took place in San Jose, Costa Rica on June 7 and 8. Coinciding with World Oceans Day, the event brought together ministers from around the world to contribute to discussions on the protection of ocean ecosystems and accelerate ambition to improve ocean health.  

The event was organised by the government of Costa Rica in the runup to the third UN Ocean Conference (UNOC), which will take place next year in Nice, Paris. The meeting in San Jose convened relevant stakeholders to exchange best practices and successful experiences related to ocean governance and health.

HE Dr Al Dahak participated in high-level panel discussions that also featured other ministers and high-level country representatives.

Speaking about the UAE’s progress in reaching the 30X30 target, which aims to protect and conserve at least 30% of the planet’s oceans by 2030, Her Excellency underscored the importance of ocean ecosystems in the UAE’s social and economic development, and shared insights about sustainable fisheries and a thriving aquaculture in the country. HE also highlighted the steps that the UAE is taking to include oceans in climate action and referenced the UAE’s pledge to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030.

H.E. Dr. Amna Al Dahak’s also stressed on the UAE’s ongoing commitment to international cooperation and collaboration in tackling climate change. Recent initiatives, strengthened by COP28 hosted in the UAE, have demonstrated this commitment and have resulted in strong international partnerships, including the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC), a global initiative launched by the UAE and Indonesia in partnership. The global initiative that has 42 countries, was launched to share expertise and resources aimed at scaling up and accelerating mangrove conservation, restoration, and resilience; the Mangrove Breakthrough, a programme that aims to restore and safeguard 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030 through $4 billion of finance; and the '2030 Seagrass Breakthrough', an initiative showcasing the manifold benefits of seagrasses and aiming to leverage their potential in combating climate change while bolstering local communities.

When asked about the key elements for a successful UN Oceans Conference (UNOC 2025), Her Excellency said: “We need to continue the momentum towards the UN sustainable Development Goal 14 and work towards conserving and sustainably using ocean, sea and marine resources. It is important to develop clear goals to maintain the health of our oceans and protect them from climate change, pollution, and overfishing. On this World Oceans Day, let us all join hands to work towards clean, healthy and sustainable oceans. This year’s theme of ‘Awaken New Depths’ inspires us to delve deeper into our oceans and urge all sectors, governments, private companies, individuals, civil society, decisionmakers, thought leaders, and activists to support the well-being of our oceans.”

HE emphasised the need to maintain and boost the oceans’ biodiversity and the urgency to tackle ocean waste, underlining the importance of proper funding mechanisms and forging collaboration to achieve the desired results.

In another high-level dialogue on Raising ambition towards the Third Ocean Conference (UNOC3), Her Excellency shared how the UAE was working with international partners to advance scientific research and named initiatives to effectively confront and tackle current challenges.

On Promoting Peace for the Ocean, Her Excellency described the ocean as a shared global asset and why it was necessary to work in partnership to achieve common goals to boost ocean ecosystems.

HE emphasised that the world must acknowledge the importance of multilateral collaboration in strengthening cooperation on global ocean agenda issues and the upcoming UNOC will be a key platform to forge joint action.

During Her Excellency Al Dahak’s visit to Costa Rica, she had meetings to discuss bilateral cooperation in various environmental and marine fields with His Excellency Franz Tattenbach, Minister of Environment and Energy of the Republic of Costa Rica; His Excellency Heiner Méndez Barrientos, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Costa Rica; His Excellency Hervé Berville, Secretary of State for the Sea and Biodiversity in France; and Her Excellency Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister for International Cooperation in the Kingdom of Norway.