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Ocean Health Index: The Ocean’s Report Card

The Ocean Health Index is the new and “first comprehensive global measurement of ocean health that includes people as part of the ocean ecosystem. It scientifically compares and combines all dimensions of ocean health – biological, physical, economic and social – in order to generate an objective and accurate snapshot of the health of the ocean controlled by every coastal country.”

Its stated objective is “to encourage decisions that create a healthier ocean and track progress toward that goal. By communicating the state of the world’s ocean, the Index aims to build awareness and catalyze decision makers to develop and implement more effective policies that promote ocean health.”

The Ocean Health Index is intended to help guide the way the Earth’s largest resource is managed. It’s the first global standard that is scientifically grounded and transparent. Based on over 50 biophysical and socio-economic indicators, it provides an assessment of the ocean’s capacity to provide long-term benefits for human well-being. Along with a global score, each of the 171 countries and territorial regions that possesses a coastline received its own ranking.

So the OHI is designed to help leaders, businesses and the public make decisions that will improve ocean health. Greg Stone, Senior Vice-President and Chief Scientist for Oceans at Conservation International, explains the benefits and functioning of the OHI in more detail here. As he says, let’s “Get ocean issues mainstream!”

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