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Innovative and Transformative Partnerships for Ocean Governance

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) held its seventh assembly in Vancouver from 22-26 August 2023. Environmental leaders from 185 countries gathered together to asses progress towards the 2030 goals to end pollution and nature loss, combat climate change, and propel inclusive, locally-led conservation. This Assembly is expected to ratify the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, a new source of funding for protecting endangered species and their ecosystems globally.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in cooperation with GEF and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) co-led a side event to showcase a longstanding, successful collaboration between the three organizations to drive innovation and transformative action in ocean governance, incorporating a broad range of partners at all levels, and with a focus gender mainstreaming and on public-private partnerships to steer the development of solutions and technologies for key marine environment issues.

Through the GloMEEP, GloBallast, GloFouling and GloNoise partnerships projects, the GEF, UNDP and IMO have instituted a model of innovative public-private “Partnerships” style projects, which have addressed the key environmental issues of GHG emissions reduction, invasive aquatic species transferred through ship’s ballast water and biofouling on ships and underwater radiated noise in the marine environment.


Central to the success of this innovative collaboration is the inclusion of Global Industry Alliances (GIAs), uniting private sector players around key global environmental issues, in the project design. The cross-fertilization between public and private stakeholders has catalysed the promotion of R&D efforts, showcased advances in technology development, and initiated global industry dialogue that has supported capacity-building activities in developing countries.


Chaired by Taylor Henshaw, Sr. Environmental Specialist - Program Manager at GEF, the side event offered a brief review of from practitioners and representatives from organizations that have been historically taken part in GEF-UNDP-IMO projects. The panel consisted of: Adnan Awad, Senior Technical Adviser for Oceans, UNDP; Fredrik Haag, Head, Office for London Convention/Protocol and Ocean Affairs, IMO; Karl Lander, member of the Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosafety; Bev MacKenzie, Head of Intergovernmental Engagement, BIMCO; and Fabiana Martins, Maritime Lawyer and member of WISTA International.


To learn more about the 7th GEF Assembly see here.


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