The new alliance aims to help save the world's oceans. (Photo: YouTube/WorldBank)
World Bank mobilises global coalition to save oceans
Friday, February 24, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
A Global Partnership for Oceans has been created to confront overfishing, marine degradation and habitat loss.
World Bank Group President Robert B Zoellick said the partnership -- a coalition of governments, international organisations, civil society groups and private interests -- would bring science, advocacy, the private sector and international public institutions together to advance on agreed goals for healthy oceans.
“We need coordinated global action to restore our oceans to health. Together we’ll build on the excellent work already being done to address the threats to oceans, identify workable solutions, and scale them up,” he stated.
He said the alliance was initially committed to raising at least USD 300 million.
"We aim to leverage as much as USD 1.2 billion to support healthy and sustainable oceans," he told, Reuters reports.
All the parties are already involved in activities to protect the world’s oceans; the key step is to help coordinate activities and mobilize new financial support while collaborating closely with countries, civil society and the private sector.
Further discussions will help define the new partnership’s specific agenda and address better governance systems around fishing, more marine protected areas, greater efforts to attack the sources of ocean pollution and degradation as well as improved coastal management to cope with weather and climate change. One aim is to rebuild at least half the world's depleted fish stocks.
It also proposes expanding aquaculture to provide two-thirds of the world's fish up from half today to alleviate pressure on wild fish populations, BBC News reports.
The Global Partnership for Oceans will assist the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June by supporting countries that meeting commitments for improved ocean management.
Numerous NGOs have expressed support for the new alliance.
“There is an urgent need to scale up the pace of ocean conservation around the world by bringing together a wide range of partners who are vested in the oceans; the World Bank’s leadership and commitment is a huge step forward towards achieving this,” President of The Nature Conservancy Mark Tercek said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for countries to realize tangible benefits – jobs, livelihoods, and economic development – by managing their oceans in a way that builds their natural capital.”
Other supporters of the new alliance stressed the need for better governance to improve oceans management and apply greater private investment in sustainable ocean ventures.
“Our experience has been that supporting ocean governance reform at all levels creates an enabling environment that can in turn catalyze sizeable quantities of public and private sector finance to sustain ocean ecosystem services. The Global Partnership for Oceans provides a key means of implementation to scale up proven approaches,” explicated Andrew Hudson, head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Water & Ocean Governance Programme.
The success or failure of the partnership may be determined by its ability to find funding and reach out to leading economies, many of which are reluctant to accept protection measures that might limit opportunities to exploit fishing resources.
By Natalia Real