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Teaming Together to Declare Support for Global Partnership for Oceans

18 June 2012, at 1:00am

BRAZIL - -- Over 70 countries, civil society groups, private firms andinternational organizations have declared their support for the new Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO),signaling their commitment to work together around coordinated goals to restore the worlds oceans tohealth and productivity.

Among those throwing their public support behind a Declaration for Healthy and Production Oceans to Help Reduce Poverty at the Rio+20 conference are 14 private firms and associations including some of the largest seafood purchasing companies in the world, representing over $6 billion per year in seafood sales, as well as one of the worlds largest cruise lines. In total so far, 10 nations, 26 civil society groups, 14 private sector firms and associations, eight research institutions, five UN agencies and conventions, seven regional and multi-lateral organizations and six private foundations are supporting the Declaration. Further support is expected in the run-up to the formal Rio+20 Conference.

The Global Partnership for Oceans is a new and diverse coalition of public, private, civil society, research and multilateral interests working together for healthy and productive oceans. It was first announced in February 2012 by World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick at the World Oceans Summit and has been gathering growing support.

Private sector support includes the seafood purchasing and food retailing companies, COSTCO, Darden Restaurants, Gorton's Inc., High Liner Foods Inc., Icelandic Group and Sanford Ltd as well as cruise line, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, media production company MediaMobz and investors Paine & Partners and Oceanis Partners. The World Ocean Council, an international business alliance of 50 companies committed to corporate ocean responsibility, are also supportive of the new Partnership.

Country supporters include: Australia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, and the US Governments overseas development arm, USAID -- all participating as part of their commitment to international sustainable development. Coastal and island nations, including Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Samoa the Seychelles are also participants in the Partnership, which they see as key to providing coordinated support to their development needs.

National and international civil society organisations like Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, IUCN, Plant-A-Fish, RARE Inc., The Nature Conservancy and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as well as specialized groups like Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, Ecotrust, Ocean Recovery Alliance, and Aquaculture Stewardship Council, among many others, are also putting their knowledge and operational capabilities behind the Partnership.

Announcing the unprecedented public statement of commitment in a keynote address to the Global Ocean Forum at Rio+20, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte said the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO) had garnered enormous support from across the oceans spectrum.

Everyone can see the value in being part of a Partnership that aims to turn around the decline in our oceans, Ms Kyte said. Everyone stands to benefit if the oceans are better protected, better managed and better understood for the important ecosystem services they provide.

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