The Global Partnership for Oceans will bring together institutional experience in ocean science, governance reform, and international finance to tackle widely documented problems of overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss. Photo: Shutterstock
The Global Partnership for Oceans is a new and powerful approach to restoring ocean health. It mobilizes finance and knowledge to activate proven solutions at an unprecedented scale for the benefit of communities, countries and global well-being.

The GPO is a growing alliance of over 140 governments, international organizations, civil society groups, and private sector interests committed to addressing the threats to the health, productivity and resilience of the ocean.

The Partnership aims to tackle documented problems of overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss. Together these problems are contributing to the depletion of a natural resource bank that provides nutrition, livelihoods and vital ecosystem services.



The Partnership will work toward meeting the following interrelated objectives by 2022 as stated in the Declaration for Healthy Productive Oceans to Help Reduce Poverty

Sustainable seafood and livelihoods from capture fisheries and aquaculture

In line with previous internationally agreed commitments* and taking into consideration growing impacts of climate change:

  • Significantly increase global food fish production from both sustainable aquaculture and sustainable fisheries by adopting best practices and reducing environmental and disease risk to stimulate investment;
  • Reduce the open access nature of fisheries by creating responsible tenure arrangements, including secure access rights for fishers and incentives for them to hold a stake in the health of the fisheries; and
  • Enable the world’s overfished stocks to be rebuilt and increase the annual net benefits of capture fisheries by at least $20 billion, including through reducing subsidies that promote overfishing.

Critical coastal and ocean habitats and biodiversity

In line with previous internationally agreed targets and to address the growing impacts of climate change:

  • Halve the current rate of natural habitat loss and reduce habitat degradation and fragmentation, by applying ecosystem-based approaches to management;
  • Increase marine managed and protected areas, and other effective area-based conservation measures, to include at least 10% of coastal and marine areas; and
  • Conserve and restore natural coastal habitats to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to climate change impacts.

Pollution reduction

In line with previous internationally agreed commitments and taking into consideration the growing impacts of climate change:

  • Reduce pollution to levels not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity; and
  • Support implementation of the Global Program of Action to reduce pollution, particularly from marine litter, waste water and excess nutrients, and further develop consensus for achievable goals to reduce these pollutants.

*Note: The previously agreed international commitments and targets referenced in this Declaration include those made in Rio in 1992 in Agenda 21, and subsequently at Johannesburg in 2002 and in the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Nagoya in 2010.


Partners of the Global Partnership for Oceans represent a diversity of stakeholders committed to addressing the threats to the ocean that hinder growth, poverty reduction and food security. All partners have formally agreed to the Declaration for Healthy Productive Oceans to Help Reduce Poverty. Partners are expected to contribute according to their comparative advantage including knowledge, outreach, implementation, technical expertise and finance. Interested stakeholders should contact the Interim Secretariat to join the Partnership.

Please refer here for a full list of our partners.

Key Documents


GPO Interim Working Group

The GPO Interim Working Group (IWG) is made up of 30 participants drawn from a representative group of GPO partner organizations. The working group guides the design phase of the GPO and lend expertise to the framework document that dictates how and where the GPO will work. The group expects to finalize its work by late 2013. Members of the working group are participating on a voluntary basis. For biographies of the members and minutes from meetings to date, please click here

GPO Interim Secretariat

The World Bank has agreed with other partners in the GPO to designate several of its staff to serve as an interim secretariat in support of design of the GPO. For any questions, please contact the team leader for this interim secretariat, Peter Kristensen, and for any media/communications questions please contact Elisabeth Mealey.

Blue Ribbon Panel

The Blue Ribbon Panel is comprised of leaders from 16 countries, representing government, the private sector, non-profit organizations, academia, and multi-lateral institutions. The Panel will provide recommendations to the Global Partnership for Oceans on the principles and practices for prioritizing and implementing sustainable ocean investment. For biographies of the Panelists please click here. To see the complete findings and recommendations from the panel, please see their report, Indispensable Ocean: Aligning Ocean Health with Human Well-Being.

Habitat Community of Practice

The Habitat Community of Practice works to further define actions and investment opportunities to achieve specific targets related to critical coastal and ocean habitats and biodiversity components described in the GPO draft framework. Follow updates here. Please direct any questions to Pawan Patil and Lynne Hale

Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to this list of frequently asked questions and answers about the GPO. If you have further questions about the plans and goals of the work of the GPO please contact the Secretariat.

Contact Us

For more information about the partnership please contact us at oceans@worldbank.org. To get updates on meetings, events, programs and news please consider subscribing to our monthly partner enewsletter. For more information or to join the mailing list please contact Amanda Feuerstein.