Programme Partner: Conservation International
Region: Indonesia & Fiji
With the urgent climate crisis we face, the need to protect and sustainably manage our oceans has never been greater. Oceans are the most important ecosystem on the planet, absorbing 90% of the heat from climate change, and 30% of the carbon from human activity. In Asia-Pacific countries like Indonesia and Fiji, where there is more water than land, climate change results in rapid ocean warming, sea level rise and ocean acidification, which threatens marine life and the livelihoods of over 19 million people.
Conservation International (CI) believes that ocean conservation is key to sustaining life on earth. For the past several decades, the most effective interventions in ocean conservation have been: (1) marine protected areas (“protection”) and (2) improvements to production practices that limit environmental impacts in key blue economy sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism (“production”). Both interventions enable oceans to weather the impacts of climate change and help to sustain the vital marine resources that communities rely on.
As the impacts of climate change further intensify, governments and key stakeholders need viable approaches to bring together the “twin pillars” of ocean conservation: protection and production. We need to ensure that the economic benefits from production are re-invested in marine protection. Protected areas allow marine resources to regenerate and grow, in turn supporting better yields in commercial production. This is the virtuous cycle we need to establish.
CI's flagship initiatives in Indonesia (Blue Halo S Initiative) and Fiji (Lau Seascape Initiative) represent key pilots in creating the virtuous loop that will reduce climate impacts on ocean ecosystems, by implementing marine protection with improved practices in fisheries management. Through science, policy, and finance, these initiatives will ensure that we can create pathways for countries and communities to invest in ocean protection through sustainable production.