The environmental status of the oceans is changing at a rate and scale not seen since the rise of modern civilization, largely due to failures in the governance of human actions. This has led to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss or conversion, and climate change, thereby contributing to ocean decline.
The World Bank’s approach is to scale up investments to support the next generation of governance reforms; these include implementing rights-based fisheries management, supporting development of sustainable aquaculture, developing blue carbon assets, creating market mechanisms to internalize the costs of marine pollution, and supporting partnerships for sustainable financing of marine protected areas, among others. These governance reforms would lead to an enhanced quality of ocean environments, and support economic growth and livelihoods.
In Guinea-Bissau, new parks and protected areas have been established, along with a protected areas network in the coastal zone that covers over 480,000 hectares, or 13 percent of the country’s national territory. In seven coastal districts throughout eastern Indonesia, 358 villages comprising more than 10,000 people were supported to establish community-managed areas of coral reef ecosystems, covering over one million hectares, and with 15 percent set aside as ‘no-take’ zones.
In seven coastal districts throughout eastern Indonesia, 358 villages comprising more than 10,000 people were supported to legally establish community-managed areas of coral reef ecosystems, covering over one million hectares, and with 15 percent set aside as fully-protected ‘no-take’ zones. Destructive fishing practices, such as the use of dynamite, have declined by 60 percent in these community-managed areas over the last six years.
The World Bank and Bank-managed trust funds are increasingly supporting initiatives to rebuild the ocean’s natural capital. Many of the Bank’s investments in the oceans over the last five years promote sustainable governance of marine fisheries, the establishment of coastal and marine protected areas, and integrated coastal resource management.
The Bank has been working with a number of partners to increase investment in sustainable governance of ocean ecosystem services, including the Global Environment Facility, the Global Program for Fisheries (PROFISH), the Alliance for Responsible Fisheries (ALLFISH).
A coordinated global effort is needed to improve the health of the world’s oceans and the benefits they provide to the global economy and human welfare. The Bank is working to bring small island states and coastal developing nations together with some of the world’s premier ocean-focused organizations and bilateral country partners in a Global Partnership for Oceans to support workable and “scalable” solutions in 8-10 key ocean areas to improve the management of ocean resources.