World Bank proposes global coalition to “save oceans”

Agence France Presse
February 24, 2012

The World Bankwas on Friday to propose a coalition of governments, global organisations and other groups to protect the oceans, aiming to raise $1.5 billion in the next five years for the purpose.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick was to tell a global conference in Singapore that the new partnership would bring together various groups to confront problems of over-fishing, marine degradation and loss of habitat.

“The world’s oceans are in danger, and the enormity of the challenge is bigger than one country or organisation,” Zoellick, who is in Singapore for the World Oceans Summit, was expected to say, according to prepared remarks released by the World Bank ahead of his speech.

“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.”

“So today, I want to propose a new approach — an unprecedented Global Partnership for Oceans,” he added.

Zoellick said the coalition “will bring together countries, scientific centers, NGOs, international organisations, foundations and the private sector to pool knowledge, experience, expertise, and investment around a set of agreed upon goals.”

As a starting point, the partnership is committing to raise at least $300 million in “catalytic finance”, meaning funds that would be used for technical assistance for key governance reforms, he said.

Another $1.2 billion would be raised “to support healthy and sustainable oceans,” he added.

“This would total $1.5 billion in new commitments over five years,” he said, adding that the World Bank would convene the first meeting of the partnership in Washington in April.

Zoellick proposed several targets for the coalition to achieve in the next 10 years, including rebuilding at least half of the world’s fish stocks.

About 85 percent of ocean fisheries are fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted, including most of the stocks of the top 10 species, he said.

The partnership should also aim to “increase the annual net benefits of fisheries to between $20 billion and $30 billion” from the current net economic loss of about $5 billion a year.

Marine protected areas should be more than doubled, he said, noting that less than two percent of the ocean’s surface is protected compared to around 12 percent of land.

“Let’s increase this to five percent,” he said.

On the economic side alone, the implications are enormous if little is done, he said.

In developing countries, one billion people depend on fish and seafood for their primary source of protein and over half a billion rely on fishing as a means of livelihood, Zoellick said.

For developing countries, including many island and coastal nations, fish represent the single most traded food product, and for many Pacific Island states, fish make up 80 percent of total exports.

“The world?s oceans are in danger,” Zoellick said. “Send out the S-O-S: We need to Save Our Seas.”

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3 Responses to World Bank proposes global coalition to “save oceans”

  1. margo pellegrino says:

    this 14 year old kid gets it…now the key is to change it..

  2. margo pellegrino says:

    yes, the ocean (it’s really only one) has been here for millions of years. it is from where all life originated. and believe it or not, the ocean is seriously suffering today–both from all that we take out, and the stuff we dump into it-accidentally or not. it is fortunate that those with the big bucks are starting to realize the truly mind boggling, almost not quantifiable, loss we will suffer if we do not 1) educate ourselves about the extent of the problem 2) realize it needs to be corrected (even if that means moratoriums on damaging practices, of which there are many, coming from all directions) 3) and ACT on this knowledge to stop destroying our life-giving ocean. Both the PEW report on the state of the ocean AND Bush II’s handpicked team for the US Commission on Ocean Policy came to the same conclusion- “‘The oceans are in trouble.’That was the unqualified, five-word summary of two years’ work delivered by the US Commission on Ocean Policy in 2004. Vast as the oceans are, vastness is relative to the resource needs of an exploding human population and our capacity to exploit marine resources. In that sense, the oceans today have shrunk to the point of unsustainability.”

  3. Madeleine Tector says:

    How long have the oceans been here? quite a while I think, but this is a good scheme if they can implement it, it will at least replace bandits with masks and modernize highway robbery.

    The World Bank has a lot of nerve thinking this scheme up, who would agree to giving them a dime for anything? If they are that worried about something that has been here for thiousands of years without them sticking their nose into saving it then they better dig up the money from the elitists friends who think this is a good idea, they won’t get it from us.

    I get the feeling if it weren’t the oceans if would be something else and this partnership baloney is just another word for takeover, no one needs to partner with the World Bank or the UN, this is why we are watching the same black TV and paying twice as much for it, no choices anymore but this is a choce, the choice would be to say no to these deranged inbred bankers and let them leave our oceans alone , find some other way of jolding us up.Get a real job.

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