The oceans cover 71 percent of our planet’s surface. By 2050, the global population is likely to reach more than nine billion. More than three-quarters of these people will be living within 100 kilometers of a coastline. These waters, through the pro- vision of marine and coastal resources, help ensure the well-being of our growing population. Oceans and coasts are the natural life support system on which humankind depends.
Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems provide us with a multitude of valuable goods and services, such as food, climate regulation, coastal protection and cultural services. However, despite their significance for socio-cultural development, economic growth and carbon storage, many marine and coastal ecosystems are under threat. Overfishing, pollution, habitat loss and degradation are leading to a deterioration of the environmental status of oceans and coasts. The impacts of climate change exacerbate adverse effects on these highly productive and biologically diverse regions and intensify pressure on these ecosystems, thus threatening the provision of essential ecosystem services.
Blue Solutions provides a global knowledge network and capacity development platform to collate, share and generate solutions for effective management and equitable governance of our planet’s marine and coastal living spaces. The Blue Solutions Initiative is being implemented jointly by GIZ, GRID-Arendal, IUCN and UNEP, funded by BMUB/ICI.
Alifereti Tawake, Indo-Pacific LMMA network, Fiji. Participant of the Sustainable Oceans Lab:
” Firstly, I want to thank everyone for freely sharing your wisdom. I appreciate what each of us brings to the table. I needed this: I needed to pause and reflect, because I had started forming convictions that were clouding what I was trying to do. SOL allowed me to dig deep, to search for what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. Thank you for helping me find this. Thank you also to the convenors and facilitators. I am taking home some of the Lab tools, especially this process of speaking into a circle, which reminds me of our Cava-side-chats (where we sit around a bowl and tell stories). These tools will help me as a trainer, facilitator and mentor. I will use them to harness the energy to do more oceans work.”