Coastal and marine ecosystems

Contribute to wetland restoration and conservation, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and reduction in ocean waste as well as pollution.

The ocean covers 70 percent of the earth‘s surface and is crucial for all human life.1 It's home to over two million species, making it the most biodiverse ecosystem on earth.2 Also, the ocean is responsible for 50 percent of the Earth‘s oxygen from photosynthesis. And it provides temperature, weather and climate regulation – distributing heat by ocean currents and storing about 30 percent of CO2 emissions.3 The ocean also accounts for about 20 percent of worldwide animal protein consumption. And provides livelihoods for over three billion people, most of them living in developing countries.4

What to invest in now? We can support you to maximize your philanthropic impact in three areas:

  1. Wetland restoration and conservation 
  2. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
  3. Ocean pollution and waste

Plants in wetlands are highly productive and thus a major carbon sink, absorbing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. But, as air temperature raises, so does water temperature. This means fewer plants to trap gases, and oxygen is less likely to dissolve in water. This causes wetlands to release an increasing amount of CO2 – current loss rates are estimated at one billion tons per year. This is more than the combined annual emissions of UK, Italy and France together.

The warming temperature also leads to a decline in the reproduction of fishes that rely on oxygen, a decreased productivity of fish stock, ultimately resulting in a loss of sea food in supply chains.

This is also the reason for increased illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing which is hard to monitor and control.

Increased pollution carried into our waterways is another issue – think of pesticides for example – negatively affecting our water quality, reducing our freshwater and irrigation. So is waste that ends up in water – microplastics slow CO2 sequestration as well as harming wildlife, ultimately leading to biodiversity losses and threats to food supplies.

A philanthropic investment in wetland restoration and conservation – key takeaways

Be strategic about your philanthropy

We can help you maximize your impact in the area of ocean and marine conservation by focusing on three strategic areas.

Protect healthy wetland ecosystems

  • Educate stakeholders on importance of coastal wetlands and protection measures
  • Develop integrated coastal management systems
  • Directly conserve wetland ecosystems
  • Improve land management practices
  • Develop sustainable incomes

Restore wetland ecosystems

  • Support the incorporation of coastal blue carbon into national mitigation strategies
  • Provide financial mechanisms and incentives for wetland restoration.
  • Develop and fund new protected areas

Better understand the risks and potentials related to blue carbon

  • Increase and improve research conducted on coastal blue carbon and wetland protection
  • Monitor changes and develop models for blue carbon ecosystems

A philanthropic investment in sustainable fisheries – key takeaways

Adaptation and resilient livelihoods for coastal communities depend on a sustainable approach to fisheries.

Description: 1 to 5 kg Carbon produced per kilo wild fish. 50 to 750 kg Carbon produced per kilo red meat.

Be strategic about your philanthropy

We can help you maximize your impact in the area of sustainable fisheries by focusing on three strategic areas.

Support adoption of sustainable practices

  • Diversify coastal livelihoods to reduce pressure on resources and introduce marketing innovations
  • Establish tenure right for small fisher(wo)man
  • Reduce post-harvest loss
  • Strengthen control mechanisms for aquatic environments of aquaculture 
  • Reduce use of fish feed and foster traditional aquacultures of non-fed species

Regulate commercial capture fisheries

  • Improve sanctioning of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing
  • Increase traceability of fishing production chains
  • End harmful forms of fishery subsidies
  • Introduce monitoring and management strategies that allow for reduced fishing when stock levels decline

Protect marine ecosystems and fishing grounds

  • Design temporary or permanent no take or multi-use zones
  • Include marine protection in climate adaptation and mitigation plans
  • Manage inland waters and their negative impacts on fisheries
  • Jointly develop multi-use MPAs and aquaculture areas

A philanthropic investment in ocean pollution and waste – key takeaways

Tackling pollution and waste upstream by reducing plastic consumption and production and addressing waste management can help to reduce biodiversity loss and enhance conservation as well as tackling climate mitigation. And reducing the inflow of plastics into the ocean will protect and conserve our valuable seascapes. Oceans play a fundamental role in mitigating climate change.

Be strategic about your philanthropy

We can help you maximize your impact in the area of ocean pollution and waste by focusing on three strategic areas.

Improve solid waste management systems

  • Educate stakeholders and population on impacts of inadequate waste management
  • Expand waste collection service to increase collection rates
  • Integrate informal waste pickers into formal waste management
  • Increase recycling capacity and rates globally, e.g. by encouraging separation of waste streams

Reduce plastic consumption and global waste trade

  • Raise awareness among and educate population on impacts of plastic waste
  • Advocate for introduction and enforcement of measures reducing single-use plastic consumption, e.g. bans or charges on single use plastic items
  • Advocate for less plastic items in consumer goods and retail industry
  • Advocate for export taxes on plastic waste

Improve wastewater management

  • Support development and implementation of better sanitation facilities
  • Support initiatives for development and implementation of stormwater and wastewater treatment technologies and management practices
  • Educate stakeholders on links between wastewater and health and ecosystem functioning and potential benefits of wastewater reuse