FAO Fisheries Department

Theme of Future Policy Award 2012: Oceans and Coasts



World Future Council partners with CBD, GEF and FAO to present awards in Hyderabad, India

Hamburg/Montreal/Washington D.C., Rome

Over 70 per cent of the earth is covered in oceans and major seas. Their health is a prerequisite for the survival of humanity. Yet, they are degrading fast. In order to address this pressing issue the World Future Council (WFC) announced today that it will present its Future Policy Award 2012 to the world’s most inspiring, innovative and influential policies on the protection of oceans and coasts.

The prestigious Future Policy Award is the first and only award that celebrates policies rather than people at the international level.

When announcing the topic of oceans and coasts, Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, said: "With the Future Policy Award we want to cast a spotlight on policies that lead by example. The aim of the World Future Council is to raise global awareness of visionary policies and speed up policy action in the interests of present and future generations."

This year's award ceremony will take place in Hyderabad, India in October 2012. It will be hosted by the World Future Council in partnership with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and with the support of the Okeanos Foundation.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “Ocean ecosystems harbour an incredible diversity of life. Policy-makers have a critical role to play in preserving this biodiversity, as poor management of marine and coastal environments is the root cause of biodiversity loss and degradation of these vital ecosystems.”

Monique Barbut, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, commented: “Developing countries are now becoming much more active in restoring and protecting their coastal oceans. With a portfolio of over 100 countries using GEF grants to improve the condition of oceans and coasts, we are delighted to partner with the World Future Council in its endeavour to identify, award, and promote adoption of these critical policies.“

Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, said:

“Humanity depends on the sustainable management of the marine environment to realise the Human Right to Food. Over a billion people rely on oceans as a source of protein and over half a billion people are dependent on oceans and coasts for their livelihoods. This is why it is so important to promote policies that successfully address the multiple threats to oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them for their livelihoods.”

Nominations for the Future Policy Award are received from a select group of international organisations as well as from Councillors and advisors of the World Future Council. A research team screens all nominated policies according to the seven principles for sustainable development law that were presented at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. As a result, an evaluation report is presented to the international jury composed of experts from all five continents.

The winning policies will be announced at the United Nations Headquarters in September 2012. The award ceremony on October 16 will be part of the11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-11) in Hyderabad.