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Side Event

Private Sector Leadership in Conserving Marine and Freshwater Biodiversity

World Ocean Council

Date and Time
29 May 2008 13:15 - 14:45

Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9)

The private sector is a primary user of marine and aquatic areas and resources – and is best placed to ensure ocean and lake ecosystem use is sustainable. This side event will highlight private sector initiatives that conserve and sustainably use ocean and freshwater biodiversity – and the needs and opportunities to expand these efforts into coordinated global approaches. Lake ecosystems can only be preserved if the private sector is engaged to solve the major threats by immediate actions such as management of water withdrawals, prevention of water pollution, implementation of sustainable fisheries management and environmental friendly lake tourism. The Global Nature Fund (GNF) - an international environmental foundation in Germany - is working with private sector partners to promote the sustainable lake development, with the food, tourism and (solar) shipping industry – and with local stakeholders and NGOs – in the Living Lakes Partnership, a global network coordinated by GNF. The world’s oceans are a dynamic, interconnected “commons” for which everyone, and no one, is completely responsible, with few incentives to take on shared environmental problems. Some ocean companies are working to do business more sustainably, and these efforts should be expanded. Unfortunately the efforts of one company or even a whole industry sector will likely not be enough to address cumulative impacts in the global ocean. The World Ocean Council (WOC) brings together ocean industries, e.g. oil, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, ports and tourism, to catalyze leadership and collaboration in addressing international marine environmental problems and implement “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”.