The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation was excited to be the first to join the Blue Nature Alliance – a global initiative designed to dramatically accelerate the pace and scale of ocean conservation by working with and for people. Its goal is to protect and improve the management of 18 million square kilometers of ocean, effectively doubling the world’s ocean protected areas by 2025.
Overfishing, pollution, and climate change imperil our oceans, threatening the food security and livelihoods of billions of people. Placing large ocean expanses into protected areas that reduce human impacts can help to push back on this threat, providing an important, proven buffer against the stressors our planet faces. In order to maintain the health and function of the ocean, science tells us that we need to protect it at a scale and pace that has never been achieved before.
It took the world 34 years to protect 6% of the ocean. By 2030, we must protect at least 30%.
That is an ambitious target, and reaching it will require extensive collaboration. Already, 75 governments around the world have pledged their support for this goal. If we are going to be successful, private action is needed to catalyze public investment and make these commitments real.
The Blue Nature Alliance’s approach is grounded in the belief that successful conservation projects require the ongoing support of both local communities and national leadership. In addition to engaging high-level government officials to implement bold and transformative policies, the Alliance simultaneously works with local communities that could be impacted by those policy changes.
Program implementation is led by Conservation International and the Pew Charitable Trusts with additional support from the Global Environment Facility and the Minderoo Foundation.
Since the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation joined the project, a global network of partners has signed on – including high-level government officials working to implement bold and transformative policies, and local communities that depend on a healthy ocean ecosystem for their cultural, economic and food security.
Our initiatives are wide-ranging. In Fiji, the Alliance is working with the people of the Lau Islands to create a conservation model in the Pacific Ocean that balances culture and development while conserving one of the most biodiverse archipelagos on the planet.
Meanwhile, in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, the Alliance is advocating for the protection of more than 3 million square kilometers of remote, pristine ocean habitat in the global commons.
All told, the Alliance is currently working to protect more than 9 million square kilometers of ocean across Fiji’s Lau Islands, Tristan da Cunha, the Southern Ocean, and Seychelles, Panama, Niue, Canada, Palau, and the Western Indian Ocean – and we anticipate further engagements in Chile, Tokelau, Sri Lanka, Argentina, and the Maldives, among others.
These actions provide massive, tangible benefits to nature and people. They build resilience to climate change, replenish fisheries and safeguard biodiversity — ensuring that coastal communities can continue to rely on the ocean for their food and livelihoods. When complete, these initiatives will constitute the largest conservation effort in history – on land or at sea.
We invite you to learn more about the Blue Nature Alliance HERE.