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Environment Strategy


Oceans on the Brink: Video

Oceans in the Brink


'Green' refers to a world in which natural resources, including oceans, land, and forests, are sustainably managed and conserved to improve livelihoods and ensure food security. It's a world in which healthy ecosystems increase all the economic returns from the activities they support. Growth strategies are focused on overall wealth rather than GDP as it is currently measured. Governments pursue regulations that encourage innovation, efficiency, sustainable budgeting, and green growth. Biodiversity is protected as an economically critical resource. In this world, good policies enable the private sector to use natural resources sustainably as part of good business, creating jobs and contributing to long-term growth. Learn More


Biodiversity continues to decline as a result of habitat destruction and degradation. Over the past 40 years, there have been significant declines in healthy ecosystems-e.g., forests, mangroves, sea grass beds, coral reefs-and their flora and fauna populations, with species loss affecting everything from fungi to insects, plants, frogs, tigers, and gorillas. Forests have seen annual losses of 5.2 million hectares between 2000 and 2010, despite declines in deforestation rates and increased forest plantations. As a result, the capacity of ecosystems to provide services such as water provisioning and flood control has declined significantly. Land degradation is also worsening as a result of deforestation and poor agricultural practices, with soil erosion, salinization, and nutrient depletion contributing to desertification. Freshwater supplies are seriously stressed, with 1.4 billion people living in river basins in which water use exceeds recharge rates. Oceans and shared seas are also under stress from climate change, overharvesting, pollution, and coastal development. The decline of marine resources threatens the livelihoods of over 100 million men and women involved in fish processing. Learn More


Through the global Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership, partnership, the Bank Group is supporting efforts to measure the value of countries’ natural assets and thereby inform policy choices. The Bank Group is also supporting the Global Partnership for Oceans to help restore the world's oceans to health and optimize their contributions to economic growth and food security. In addition, the World Bank Group will build on its experience in carbon finance to test the market's willingness to encourage the protection of critical habitat areas while also providing carbon storage benefits; continue innovative work on forests and land use linked to the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) program; and develop methodologies to capture and monetize carbon co-benefits—for example, through wildlife conservation programs. Learn More

Last updated: 2012-05-29

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