03/19/2015

Joining forces for marine conservation: Sustainable Oceans Lab founded

Wooden rack at sea beach, with cages on top
Improving sustainable fisheries through the Kanan Kay Alliance, Mexico. Picture: Mariana Veléz

Marine conservationists from 11 countries and various organisations are engaging in an intensive exchange to develop new ideas for sustainable marine conservation. 

The oceans form the largest habitats on our planet and cover 71 per cent of the earth's surface. However, they are increasingly endangered by pollution, overfishing, rising temperatures and acidification. It is imperative to protect the world's oceans due to their fundamental importance for regulating the climate, providing proteins and raw materials, and providing large habitats that are vitally important to humans. This is a task that governments, international organisations and initiatives worldwide have joined forces to take on. To support these efforts, the Sustainable Oceans Lab was founded at the beginning of March in Berlin.

The Lab is a project in which 22 prominent leaders from 11 countries will join forces for one year to address the question: 'How can we work together to foster sustainable management of our marine ecosystems and conserve our marine biodiversity?'

The participants introduced themselves at the kick-off event in Berlin. They come from diverse regions of the world, including South Africa, Mexico, the USA and Fiji. Furthermore, they are active in different organisations and institutions, and already have experience with this issue. The project's aim is to promote exchange and networking among the participants in order to generate new perspectives and help transfer experience. This is an approach that will lay a foundation for long-term, successful partnerships to conserve and sustainably manage marine biodiversity.

The International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports the Blue Solutions project, which is organising the Sustainable Oceans Lab, together with the Global Leadership Academy, which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is the implementing organisation behind Blue Solutions and the Global Leadership Academy.

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