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Hills to Ocean (H2O)

//Hills to Ocean (H2O)

About the Working Group

Fast going cities, ports, tourism development, impoverished communities, over-used fish stocks, habitat degradation and finally sea level rise are leading to an increasing vulnerability of coastal areas, especially in south-east Asia. In this complex situation and so many different stakeholders, it is not so easy to find clear solutions. The GIZ developed several tools and integrated approaches which are enhancing cross-sectoral and marine resources. Projects connected by the WG Hills to Ocean (H2O) are dealing with different although closely interlinked topics:

  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) with inclusion of different stakeholders
  • Aquaculture, (small-scale) sustainable fishing
  • Coastal and marine conservation (MPA – Marine Protected Area network)
  • Mangrove conservation and restoration
  • Participative coastal & marine biodiversity management
  • Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CSP, including Zoning)
  • Integrated Coastal Protection Planning (includes erosion control, breakwater, mangrove belt, sea-dyke and livelihood)

The main objective of the H2O Work Group is to create a lively platform for knowledge exchange (on GC 21) which enhance up-scaling of successful models and methods for problem solving. At the same time, we want to be at the edge of new international developments in Coastal Zone Management.

The factsheet of the Working Group is now available for download here.


The WG Hills to Ocean agreed in Nov 2015 to work on new issues in order to integrate recent projects and international developments. These topics are:

  • Coastal and Marine Spatial planning
  • Regional Ocean Governance
  • Transboundary and delta issues (Mekong River), taking into account terrestrial and marine linking
  • Marine litter (linking to WG Biodiversity) and port development
  • Coastal erosion control and environmental coastal engineering (eg. T fence breakwater) and integrated planning of coastal protection system (from breakwater, mangrove belt in the foreshore land to sea-dyke design and –routing to land use in the hinterland

In general, it is observed that traditional marine and coastal themes such as MPA networks, sustainable fishery and aquaculture are more and more linked with themes around land and water use planning, coastal protection against erosion, flooding and storm surge (CC impacts on the coast).

Contact Details


Dr. Stefan Alfred Groenewold
Speaker for Working Group Hills to Ocean (H2O)



Dr. Aaron Savio Lobo
Co-speaker for Working Group Hills to Ocean (H2O)


Highlight Activities

Number of Countries


Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Fiji, Germany, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pacific Island States, Philippines, Singapore, Timore-Leste, Thailand, Viet Nam

Number of Projects

(including programs) plus Blue Solutions