PRESS RELEASE

More than 80 nations, private companies and international organizations declare support for Global Partnership for Oceans

June 16, 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, June 16, 2012 -- Over 80 countries, civil society groups, private companies and international organizations have declared their support for the new Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO), signaling their commitment to work together around coordinated goals to restore the world’s oceans to health and productivity.

Among those throwing their public support behind a “Declaration for Healthy and Productive Oceans to Help Reduce Poverty” at the Rio+20 conference are 17 private firms and associations including some of the largest seafood purchasing companies in the world, representing over $6 billion per year in seafood sales, as well as one of the world’s largest cruise lines.

So far, 13 nations, 27 civil society groups, 17 private sector firms and associations, seven research institutions, five UN agencies and conventions, seven regional and multi-lateral organizations and seven private foundations are supporting the Declaration - totaling 83. Further support is expected in the run-up to the formal Rio+20 Conference.

The Global Partnership for Oceans is a new and diverse coalition of public, private, civil society, research and multilateral interests working together for healthy and productive oceans. It was first announced in February 2012 by World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick at the World Oceans Summit and has been gathering growing support.

Private sector support includes the seafood purchasing and food retailing companies, COSTCO, Darden Restaurants, Gorton's Inc., High Liner Foods Inc., Icelandic Group, Sanford Ltd and Slade Gorton & Co., Inc. as well as cruise line, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, media production company MediaMobz and investors Paine & Partners and Oceanis Partners. The World Ocean Council, an international business alliance of 50 companies committed to corporate ocean responsibility, are also supportive of the new Partnership.

Country supporters include: Australia, Iceland, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, the US Government’s overseas development arm, USAID, and the German Government’s Deutsche Geselleschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) -- all participating as part of their commitment to international sustainable development. Coastal and island nations, including Fiji, Jamaica, Kiribati, Palau, Samoa the Seychelles are also participants in the Partnership, which they see as key to providing coordinated support to their development needs.

National and international civil society organizations like Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, IUCN, Plant-A-Fish, Rare, The Nature Conservancy and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), among many others, are also putting their knowledge and operational capabilities behind the Partnership.

Announcing the unprecedented public statement of commitment in a keynote address to the Global Ocean Forum here today, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte said the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO) had garnered enormous support from across the oceans spectrum.

Everyone can see the value in being part of a Partnership that aims to turn around the decline in our oceans,” Kyte said. “Everyone stands to benefit if the oceans are better protected, better managed and better understood for the important ecosystem services they provide.”

Norway’s Minister for Development Heikki Holmas said: “Norway supports the Global Partnership for Oceans because it reinforces and reinvigorates global efforts to ensure the sustainable use of the oceans and to further curb illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. The GPO is vital to ensuring that a fair share of better managed ocean resources is redistributed to benefit the world's poorest.”

The Declaration commits the Partnership to mobilizing “significant human, financial and institutional resources for effective public and private investments in priority ocean areas”. It aims to improve capacity and close the recognized gap in action in implementing global, regional and national commitments for healthy and productive oceans.

It also recognizes that despite global commitments made to date as well as the efforts of many organizations, governments, enterprises and individuals, the oceans remain “under severe threat from pollution, unsustainable harvesting of ocean resources, habitat destruction, ocean acidification and climate change”.

To tackle these threats, the Partnership is targeting three key focus areas:

  • sustainable seafood and livelihoods from capture fisheries and aquaculture;
  • critical coastal and ocean habitats and biodiversity;
  • pollution reduction.

Among the GPO’s agreed goals are targets for significantly increasing global food fish production from sustainable aquaculture and sustainable fisheries; halving the current rate of natural habitat loss and increasing marine-managed and protected areas to at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas; and reducing marine pollution especially from marine litter, waste water and excess nutrients.

Over the past 10 years we have made great strides towards ocean sustainability in our operations and through investments made by The Ocean Fund,” said Jamie Sweeting, Vice President, Environmental Stewardship & Global Chief Environmental Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., “However, we believe that by combining our efforts with those of others within the Global Partnership for Oceans we will achieve better results for healthy oceans as well as for our business.”

Participants in the GPO As of June 16, 2012

Governments and Government Agencies

 

13

Australia

Norway

 

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Palau

 

Fiji

Samoa

 

Iceland

Seychelles

 

Jamaica

   

Monaco

South Korea

 

New Zealand

 US Agency for International Development (USAID)

 

Private Sector

 

17

COSTCO

Oceanis Partners

 

Darden Restaurants

Paine & Partners

 

Global Aquaculture Alliance

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

 

Gorton's Inc.

Sanford Ltd.

 

Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation

Seafood Experience Australia

 

High Liner Foods, Inc.

Slade Gorton & Co., Inc

 

Icelandic Group

The GPC Group

 

MEDIAmobz

World Ocean Council

 

National Fisheries Institute

   

Civil Society Organizations

  27

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

National Geographic Society

 

Blue Ventures

Natural Resources Defense Council

 

CeDePesca

Ocean Recovery Alliance

 

Conservation International

Oceana

 

Ecotrust

Plant a Fish

 

Environmental Defense Fund

Rare, Inc.

 

Friends of the Nation

Sailors for the Sea

 

Global Development Research Center

Stakeholder Forum

 

Global Ocean Forum

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

 

Global Oceans

Sylvia Earle Alliance /Mission Blue

 

International Seafood Sustainability Foundation

The Nature Conservancy

 

International Union for Conservation of Nature

Wildlife Conservation Society

 

Marine Stewardship Council

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

 

Marine Watch International

   

Foundations

 

7

Clinton Climate Initiative

Taras Oceanographic Foundation

 

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Ocean Foundation

 

GRID - Arendal

Walton Family Foundation

 

MacArthur Foundation

   

Regional and Multilateral Organizations

  7

Global Environment Facility

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program

 

Pacific Islands Forum Fishery Agency

Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge

 

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

World Bank Group

 

Secretariat of the Pacific Community

   

Research

 

7

Global Change Institute

University of Southern Maine

 

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

University of the South Pacific

 

Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health

Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology

 

New England Aquarium

   

UN and Conventions

 

5

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

United Nations Development Program

 

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission -UNESCO

United Nations Environment Program

 

Ramsar Convention

   

Total Signatories

 

83

Media Contacts
PRESS RELEASE NO:
2012/512/SDN