Last week, the head of the World Bank Robert B. Zoellick announced the establishment of a Global Partnership for Oceans to confront widely documented problems of over-fishing, marine degradation, and habitat loss. Speaking at the Economist World Oceans Summit in Singapore, Zoellick described the initiative:
This Partnership will bring together countries, scientific centers, NGOs, international organizations, foundations, and the private sector to pool knowledge, experience, expertise, and investment around a set of agreed upon goals. These goals can sharpen our focus, encourage common and reinforcing efforts, and compel us to measure performance. Together, we will build on the excellent work already being done to address the threats to oceans, identify workable solutions, and scale them. We can also mobilize financing where there are gaps.
There are an estimated 350 million jobs worldwide that are linked in one way or another to the oceans, so it’s not surprising that the World Bank has taken an interest, bringing together major NGOs, regulatory bodies, and private funding to tackle these issues. But what about the specifics? The Partnership has identified four major goals for the next 10 years:
With such a broad base of support and funding, hopefully this partnership will make inroads where on issues where political will – such as the reform of fishing subsidies and the establishment and enforcement of catch regulations – has been lacking. Find out more about the Partnership here.