Global Agenda Council on Oceans 2012-2014


The challenge

Oceans offer great opportunity for economic growth and development and support the very existence of humanity through oxygen provision and climate regulation. Awareness of potential ocean resources is growing rapidly, but the seas are badly managed. This has led to challenges such as collapsing fish stocks, rising sea levels and increasing piracy. “Business as usual” is not sustainable and step changes must occur in resource management practices. The Global Agenda Council on Oceans plays a central role in identifying the challenges and promoting sustainable management practices through its activities. A multitude of efforts regarding ocean conservation and management exist globally, but it is crucial that the Council promote efficient collaboration among them.

What the Council is doing about it

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013, the Council released a vision statement on Seafood Traceability. The Annual Meeting included a session on Bolstering Ocean Resilience, moderated by Tony Haymet, Director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The high-level panel included H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco; President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland; Frans Muller, Member of the Management Board of Metro Group; and Rachel Kyte, Vice-President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank. Also at the Annual Meeting 2013, the Council convened a private discussion between key members of the Global Ocean Commission, the World Bank and the business community on future collaboration.

At the 2013 World Economic Forum on Africa, the Council gathered Xavier-Luc Duval, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Mauritius; Trevor Manuel, Minister of the National Planning Commission (NPC) of South Africa; and Geoffrey White, Chief Executive Officer of Lonrho, to discuss the crucial role of sustainable ocean resource management for Africa’s growth and development. On 8 June 2013, the Forum hosted a World Oceans Day Web campaign, including a blog of expert views, a video on Ideas for Change, and an interactive trip to the oceans of the future. 

Awareness of potential ocean resources is growing rapidly, but the seas are badly managed.

The Council will continue to play a key role in bringing together major stakeholders at Forum events. Council Members aim to enhance collaboration with other organizations, such as the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans and the Global Ocean Commission; pursue alignment with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative; promote a global will to ensure that wild-caught seafood and other fish products are legal, healthy, fully traceable and accurately labelled; and increase collaboration with the business community. 

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Daniel Akinmade Emejulu, Associate, Global Agenda Councils, 
Council Manager: Nathalie Chalmers, Programme Manager, Sustainability and Environment, Programme team, 
Forum Lead: Dominic Waughray, Senior Director, Head of Environmental Initiative,