Ocean collaboration

A new global coalition, Ocean Action 2030, has formed to support the development and implementation of sustainable ocean plans.

08 December 2021


A new global coalition, Ocean Action 2030 has launched, dedicated to providing countries with technical and financial assistance to develop and implement Sustainable Ocean Plans.

These plans, a core recommendation of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel), are a foundation for integrated, sustainable and inclusive ocean management that benefits people, nature and the economy.

Ocean Action 2030 involves 16 leading technical and financial institutions working worldwide on issues relevant to the transition to a sustainable ocean economy.

The member institutions are Asian Development Bank, Blue Prosperity Coalition, Environmental Defense Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Global Environment Facility, Inter-American Development Bank, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, Ocean Conservancy, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, The Nature Conservancy, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, The World Bank, World Resources Institute and World Wide Fund for Nature.


“The World Bank is fully committed to support countries as they embark on a path towards a Blue Economy approach. We are already working with countries that have requested financial assistance to implement the recommendations of the High-Level Panel,” said Karin Kemper, Global Director of Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy at the World Bank, on the launch of the coalition.

“The implementation of Sustainable Ocean Plans could bring about improved, inclusive and integrated management to the one-third of the ocean that is within national waters,” said Julian Barbière, Head of Marine Policy at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

“Building on its expertise in marine spatial planning, IOC-UNESCO supports countries to move away from isolated sectoral management to an integrated planning framework that considers the ocean as an engine of sustainable and equitable development.”

The coalition offers a range of technical and financial support. For instance, the World Bank supports its client countries to implement a Blue Economy approach focused on the sustainable and integrated development of oceanic sectors in healthy oceans.

The IOC-UNESCO now offers a turnkey program to help countries develop marine spatial plans that integrate economic and environmental planning and zoning.

The Blue Prosperity Coalition has just launched a program in partnership with the Republic of Fiji to assist the country’s vision to sustainably manage 100 percent of its ocean and marine resources while implementing its global leadership commitments to protect 30 percent by 2030.

Launched concurrently was the new Ocean Panel-commissioned guide, 100 percent Sustainable Ocean Management: An Introduction to Sustainable Ocean Plans. Prepared in collaboration with leading experts worldwide and with contributions from Ocean Panel countries, the guide delves into the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of Sustainable Ocean Plans. It defines nine main attributes and a suite of useful components that make up effective planning that can increase buy-in, investment and action.

“An Introduction to Sustainable Ocean Plans is designed to help countries begin or accelerate their journey toward a sustainable ocean economy,” said Dr Peter Haugan, Program Director at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway and Chair of the Ocean Panel’s Expert Group.

“The guidance is relevant to all countries, regardless of their different starting points and national circumstances.”

In December 2020, members of the Ocean Panel announced their shared aim to sustainably manage all of the ocean areas under their national jurisdictions, supported by Sustainable Ocean Plans.

One year in, the launch of guidance on sustainable ocean planning is an essential step toward advancing this ambitious headline commitment. The members of the Ocean Action 2030 coalition will support this effort.


About the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

Established in September 2018, the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) is a unique initiative made up of serving world leaders who are building momentum for a sustainable ocean economy in which effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand.

By working collaboratively with a wide array of stakeholders, the Ocean Panel aims to identify bold solutions that bridge ocean health, wealth and equity and accelerate and scale responsive action worldwide.



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