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Leading Philanthropies Pledge $5 Million to Support Developing Countries in Adopting an Ambitious High Seas Treaty

As nations negotiate high seas treaty at the United Nations, Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Blue Nature Alliance, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Minderoo Foundation, OceanKind, Oceans 5, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Vere Initiatives, and others announce rapid response funding to help developing countries contribute to global 30×30 ocean goals

Panama City, Panama – Today, at the 2023 Our Ocean Conference, private donors committed a collective $5 million to rapidly support developing nations in joining an ambitious new global treaty to protect the high seas. The pledge by Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Blue Nature Alliance, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Minderoo Foundation, OceanKind, Oceans 5, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Vere Initiatives, and others will strengthen the capacity for nations to collaboratively protect the biodiversity in the world’s high seas – valuable ocean areas beyond national jurisdictions whose protection is critical to protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030.

The high seas, which account for roughly two-thirds of the Earth’s ocean area and half of the Earth’s surface, are home to more than 26,000 known marine species, and potentially millions more yet to be identified, and play a critical role regulating our climate and supporting globally important fisheries. Despite this, only 1% of the high seas are protected. This announcement comes as negotiations to finalize the high seas treaty – the first global treaty process related to the ocean in over two decades – occur at United Nations Headquarters and are scheduled to conclude by March 3.

The announcement was made at a high-level event organized by the governments of Panama and Belgium, members of the Blue Leaders, a group of ambitious countries calling for the high seas treaty to be finalized so that marine protected areas can be established beyond countries’ maritime borders.

Part of this new philanthropic funding is intended to help support developing nations with critical policy and technical resources to ratify the new treaty and give assurance at a pivotal moment in negotiations to help propel them to a successful conclusion. Beyond today’s commitment, this group of private donors are also engaging with government champions of the high seas treaty to secure additional technical capacity and financial commitments to ensure significant support for developing nations to undertake the policy, technical, and scientific activities needed to implement the agreement and save our high seas.

“Chile is committed to finalizing an ambitious new treaty for the high seas to conserve and protect marine life beyond our maritime borders. We celebrate bold funding commitments announced today which will help the global community get the treaty up and running,” said Antonia Urrejola Noguera, Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“While great strides have been made in establishing marine protected areas in countries’ national waters, for too long, ocean life found beyond national jurisdiction, on the high seas, has lacked sufficient protection,” said Milciades Concepción, Minister of Environment of Panama. “For this reason, Panama joins other countries to call for the completion of the new high seas treaty so we can start protecting the blue half of the planet. This political call was reinforced by substantial financial commitments announced by public and private entities at the Our Ocean Panama meeting today to support ratification and implementation of the treaty.”

“This is an enormously important announcement and a significant step towards mobilising the funding needed to ensure biodiversity is protected in the High Seas. We hope this stimulates further funding from the philanthropic, public and private sector. The UK will continue to invest in the protection of critical marine ecosystems and seek innovative financial solutions to attract further funding from all sources,” said Lord Zac Goldsmith, UK Minister of State for the Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

“Life on earth depends on a healthy ocean. The new high seas treaty will be critical for meeting our shared goal of conserving 30% of the global ocean by 2030. We welcome today’s commitment to support developing countries in joining the treaty and achieving a more sustainable future for all,” said Monica Medina, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

“Developing nations have a critical role to play in protecting our ocean and the livelihoods that depend on it,” said Antha Williams, who leads environment programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Bloomberg Philanthropies is a proud partner in providing developing countries with the necessary resources to support the high seas treaty, and their participation will be a critical step to reaching the global ocean protection goal by 2030. The treaty will solidify a historic collaborative effort to protect biodiverse ecosystems, flourishing fisheries, and clean waters.”

“For the world to effectively protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, countries must adopt, ratify, and implement a high seas treaty,” said Ashleigh McGovern, Vice President at Conservation International and Director of Partnerships at the Blue Nature Alliance. “The Blue Nature Alliance and our partners are committed to working with communities and governments to carry out these ambitious commitments in a sustainable and equitable way.”

“With two thirds of our ocean beyond national jurisdiction, a high seas treaty is an absolute must if we are to protect 30% of marine areas globally,” said Dr. Tony Worby, Director of the Minderoo Foundation Flourishing Oceans initiative. “Minderoo Foundation strongly endorses this ambitious treaty and is committed to protecting our common seas.”

The UN high seas negotiations and the Our Ocean Conference in Panama take place against the backdrop of the December 2022 global accord to protect 30 percent of the ocean by 2030 (30×30), that was reached as part of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Achieving 30×30 ocean protection — a focus of the Bloomberg Ocean Initiative and marine funders that have joined the Protecting Our Planet Challenge — cannot be accomplished without expanded new protections for significant areas of the high seas important for biodiversity, climate, and the people who depend on them.


About the Bezos Earth Fund:
The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos’s $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and other actors that will drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030 — the date by which the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved.

Media Contact: Stacie Cobos,

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 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 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.7 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Daphne Wang,

About Blue Nature Alliance:
The Blue Nature Alliance is a global partnership that collaborates with governments, NGOs, local and Indigenous communities, scientists, and other organizations to catalyze and accelerate large-scale ocean conservation. The Alliance supports the marine conservation work of more than 60 partners in approximately 25 sites across the globe, in all five oceans and the high seas. It was founded and is led by Conservation International, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Global Environment Facility, Minderoo Foundation, and the Rob & Melani Walton Foundation. Learn more at

Media Contact: Ken Willis,

About Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation:
Gordon and Betty Moore established the foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. In pursuit of that vision, they foster path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at

About Minderoo Foundation:
Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, Minderoo Foundation is a modern philanthropic organisation which takes on tough, persistent issues with the potential to drive massive change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with more than $2.7 billion committed to a range of global initiatives. Minderoo’s Flourishing Oceans initiative aims to return the world’s oceans to a thriving state by ending overfishing, dumping of plastic, heat and carbon dioxide in our ocean, supporting the sustainable use of ocean resources, conserving key habitats, and facilitating world class research.

Media Contact: Michael Best,

About Oceans 5:
Oceans 5 is an international funders collaborative of 23 Partners and Members who help identify, assess and approve projects for investment. Oceans 5 makes direct grants, leverages matching grants, provides in-kind services and shares strategic guidance – all to support grantees. They focus on projects and campaigns to constrain overfishing, establish marine reserves, and stop offshore oil and gas development. Oceans 5 is inspired by projects that are globally significant and strategic, particularly if they provide tangible and lasting benefits to coastal communities and the world’s oceans. For more information please visit

About OceanKind:
Oceankind’s mission is to improve the health of global ocean ecosystems while supporting the livelihoods of people who rely on them. We pursue these goals by supporting the work of leading nonprofits focused on marine conservation and advancing promising marine conservation technology. Our team leverages experience in innovation and environmental philanthropy to promote the development of policies, organizations, and technologies that can scale to help solve the enormous challenges facing the ocean.

About Paul M. Angell Family Foundation:
The mission of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation is to advance society through the performing arts, conservation of the world’s oceans, and alleviation of poverty. The foundation was created in 2011 to honor Paul M. Angell, and strives to embody the legacy of his compassion, ingenuity and industriousness.

Media Contact: Amanda Nickson,