World Ocean Council to Organize Business Roundtable at Asia-Pacific Large Marine Ecosystems Workshop, Bangkok, 3-4 May 2018, with Workshops in Africa and Latin America-Caribbean to follow Later in 2018.

The World Ocean Council (WOC) and the GEF LME:LEARN project are collaborating to enhance communication between regional marine projects and institutions to better work with the private sector to achieve sustainable development. GEF LME:LEARN is a project financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO).

This effort focuses around the GEF supported Large Marine Ecosystems (LME) coordinated by the GEF LME:LEARN project. The first meeting targets the Asia-Pacific Region and will take place in Bangkok on 3 - 4 May, 2018. Workshops for the Africa and Latin America-Caribbean regions will be organized later in 2018.

The GEF LME:LEARN project seeks to improve global ecosystem-based governance of LMEs and their coasts by generating knowledge, building capacity and harnessing public and private partnerships. This builds on the experience of successful partnerships between local marine environment projects and large corporations, e.g. the Globallast partnership with shippers and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

GEF LME projects seek to better work with the private sector to promote innovative, market-based approaches that support good practices and responsible management. To foster these partnerships, international projects need a better understanding of challenges faced by both the business community and marine projects in engaging with one another.

GEF LME:LEARN has partnered with the WOC to achieve this interaction with the private sector. The Bangkok workshop seeks to understand how to better communicate the potential of marine projects to engage with the private sector, and the opportunities for investment by the business community at the regional level.

The business roundtable, moderated by WOC COO Christine Valentin, brings together senior representatives from key businesses in the Asia-Pacific Region, including shipping, fishing and aquaculture, to focus on:

  • What are the global and regional priorities and opportunities regarding sustainable development from the ocean business community?
  • What are the needs and opportunities to collaborate across the sectors/at a regional scale?
  • How can other stakeholders best work with and through intermediary organizations to engage the private sector?
  • How can we develop an Asia-Pacific ocean business leadership community for ocean sustainable development?