Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Thursday, March 07 2019 - 11:14
Blue Prosperity Coalition: Ocean Experts Unite to Protect the Ocean and Grow Economies
ABU DHABI, UAE, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

    It is possible to improve the economy AND protect the ocean at the same 
time. Here's how: 
    - Global network of ocean experts launches Blue Prosperity Coalition to 
improve sustainable oceans
    - Government partners & ocean experts seek to balance economic growth with 
marine protection
    - Fully protected areas provide immense benefits for marine economies and 
ecosystems - not just for fish, but for all ocean economies and livelihoods
    - Over 70 countries have made commitments to protect portions of their 
ocean territories, yet less than 5% of the ocean is currently designated as 
fully protected no-take areas, falling massively short of the 30% by 2030 target
    - 19+ global ocean organizations and experts are uniting to launch the Blue 
Prosperity Coalition, a growing network of experts who can provide the funding, 
tools and expertise to support governments to properly implement ocean plans 
that benefit all ocean users over the long term

    Government officials, ocean experts, and NGOs joined together to announce 
the creation of the Blue Prosperity Coalition, a network of global partners 
advancing sustainable oceans by balancing marine protection with economic 
development. Founding members of the Coalition include the Waitt Institute 
[ ], National Geographic Pristine Seas 
[ ], Oceans 5 
[ ] and Dynamic Planet [ ], 
as well as government partnerships with the Azores
[ ], Barbuda
[ ], Curacao
[ ], and the Kingdom of Tonga
[ ].

    The global ocean economy is estimated at $24 Trillion USD, yet ocean 
resources are declining rapidly worldwide - bombarded with human-imposed 
threats like overfishing, pollution and climate change. Scientific research 
shows that strongly protecting at least 30% of the world's ocean will help 
maintain marine resources while maximizing yields and sustainable economic 
growth. In 2016, intergovernmental organization IUCN (International Union for 
Conservation of Nature) set a global target to protect "30% of each marine
habitat" in "highly protected areas with no extractive activities" by 2030.  

    "No one person, no one entity can save the oceans, but if we work together 
this is a problem we can fix," said philanthropist Ted Waitt, founder of Waitt 

    5 Key Principles of Blue Prosperity  

    1. Our oceans need URGENT protection.

    2. We can improve both the ENVIRONMENT and the ECONOMY at the same time.

    3. At least 30% OCEAN PROTECTION is required.

    4. Protection is best achieved via COMPREHENSIVE, science-based plans 
in consultation with key stakeholders.

    5. Working together with committed Government leadership, we can 
achieve SUSTAINABLE and PRODUCTIVE oceans.

    According to Blue Prosperity Coalition partner, Dr. Enric Sala, National 
Geographic Explorer in Residence, "We don't need to choose between the economy 
or the environment. By providing the right level of protection, we can restore 
marine environments and the local economies and livelihoods that depend on 

    The depletion of the ocean resources is one of the biggest challenges of our
generation. Over 70 countries have made commitments to protect portions of 
their ocean territories, yet less than 5% of the ocean is currently designated 
in no-take areas. Science shows that if we protect 30% of our oceans through 
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) then nature can bounce back. Studies also show 
that conserving 30% of oceans will serve to both sustain economic interests and 
protect ecosystems.

    By providing expert resources to support comprehensive marine spatial 
planning and capacity building of local agencies, the founding members of the 
Blue Prosperity Coalition aim to turn marine commitments into action. The 
Coalition will offer financing and world-class planning, legal, advocacy, 
strategy, implementation and scientific expertise to countries interested in 
developing their Blue Economies.

    "By engaging teams of local and international experts, we work with 
governments to provide the tools and resources they need to ensure their oceans 
will thrive," said Dr. Kathryn Mengerink J.D., Executive Director of the Waitt 

    In February 2019 the Blue Prosperity Coalition joined the Blue Azores 
Program, established by a partnership between the Waitt Institute and the 
Oceano Azul Foundation in collaboration with the Regional Government of Azores. 
As part of the Blue Azores, the Azorean government has committed to designate 
an additional 150,000 square kilometers (15%) of its waters as new fully 
protected no-take areas, while creating a holistic ocean plan to sustainably 
improve ocean economies like fishing and tourism. This plan aims to preserve 
important feeding grounds for commercially important fish stocks, migratory
routes for marine mammals, and deep-sea ecosystems like seamounts and 
hydrothermal vents.

    "Our ocean is at a critical tipping point. There is enough information to 
act now. We need to make effective ocean protection a reality in the next 
decade or it'll be too late," said Dr. Emanuel Goncalves, Member of the Board 
of Directors of Oceano Azul Foundation.

    The new Blue Prosperity Coalition builds upon the concepts developed by the 
Waitt Institute to advance sustainable oceans through marine spatial planning, 
including programs in the Caribbean and Pacific. In 2014, Barbuda protected 33% 
of its waters as no-take marine protected areas. Partners also include Tonga 
and Curacao, whose governments both have committed to protect at least 30% of 
their ocean areas.

    Already in progress is the Tonga national marine spatial planning effort 
that embodies the core values of the Blue Prosperity Coalition. The Tonga 
partnership demonstrates the strength and importance of community engagement to 
achieve these goals. In a planning process that focuses on 700,000 square 
kilometres of ocean with more than 140 islands, the Kingdom of Tonga has a 
robust consultation process involving every coastal community in the Kingdom. 
"Communities and oceans are intertwined. Ensuring communities are involved 
throughout ocean planning and management will help secure a healthy ocean 
future," said Karen Stone, Executive Director of the Vava'u Environmental 
Protection Agency (VEPA), an implementing partner in Tonga.

    For more information about the Blue Prosperity Coalition contact:  

    Cherie Prothro Shea:

    Kathryn Mengerink:

    Learn more at: [ ]


    Instagram: @BlueProsperity

SOURCE: Blue Prosperity Coalition