Skip to main content

Bloomberg Philanthropies and Commonwealth Secretariat Announce Expanded Partnership to Boost Ocean Conservation

New phase will target marine protection, sustainable fisheries, and ‘blue carbon’ solutions

NEW YORK, NY — Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced an expansion of its partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat to tackle critical challenges facing the ocean. In the lead up to World Ocean Day on Tuesday, June 8, Bloomberg Philanthropies pledged new funding to support the work of the Commonwealth Blue Charter to solve ocean challenges and protect critical ocean resources for the health and livelihood of billions of people around the world.

This commitment builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support for ocean action through its Vibrant Oceans Initiative, which brings together world-class partners to ensure ocean ecosystems survive and thrive despite the growing threat of climate change. The Vibrant Oceans Initiative has supported the adoption of ambitious marine conservation policies in ten countries around the world, protecting nearly 7 million square miles of ocean since 2012.

The Commonwealth Blue Charter is an agreement by 54 member countries to work together to solve ocean challenges. Implemented through 10 voluntary action groups, the work focuses on areas including climate change, marine pollution, coral reef restoration and the sustainable blue economy.

The partnership will support training and capacity-building programs such as addressing climate change through ‘blue carbon’ solutions, developing marine protected areas and promoting sustainable coastal fisheries.

The announcement will be featured on World Ocean Day at a high-level event organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat and attended by the President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy of Barbados Kirk D. M. Humphrey, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan, and Minister for Pacific and the Environment of United Kingdom, Zac Goldsmith.

“The Blue Charter’s mission to protect the ocean and livelihoods it supports has only grown more critical during the pandemic,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO, Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Through our Vibrant Oceans Initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies is excited to build on our successful partnership with the Commonwealth – and help more member countries meet their sustainability goals as their economies recover.”

Welcoming the new phase of the Commonwealth’s partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Implementation of the Commonwealth Blue Charter is at a critical juncture: governments of member countries are balancing competing priorities, while coping with greatly reduced budgets. This generous contribution by Bloomberg Philanthropies will support vital efforts by the Commonwealth collectively to build back more sustainably from the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritising ocean health as the foundation for a thriving, sustainable blue economy which supports our communities while protecting nature.”

This announcement builds upon a multi-year agreement signed in 2018 between the Commonwealth Secretariat and Bloomberg Philanthropies to explore joint initiatives supporting international trade, innovation and sustainability. Since 2012, Bloomberg Philanthropies has contributed over $158 million to ocean conservation causes.

###

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative:
As climate change increasingly threatens key ocean ecosystems, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative is working around the world to advance evidence-based conservation practices and implement data-driven policies to protect our oceans and the 3 billion people that depend on them. Launched in 2014, Bloomberg’s Vibrant Oceans Initiative currently operates with partners Rare, Oceana, Global Fishing Watch, and the Wildlife Conservation Society in 10 countries that are top fishing nations – Australia, the Bahamas, Chile, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Peru, and the United States – to win science-based policies, protect priority coral reefs least vulnerable to climate change, and increase transparency through the adoption of national fishing data platforms.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and TikTok.

Media Contact:
Daphne Wang – Bloomberg Philanthropies, +1 646-771-1473, daphne@bloomberg.org