Marine Environment

Beyond the core work on Climate Legislation, Forest Legislation and Natural Capital, GLOBE has also worked with legislators in the area of Marine Environment. GLOBE recognises that marine ecosystems provide critical ecosystem services for humankind. The oceans regulate the Earth's temperature, cycle its nutrients, have taken up almost half of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and provide nearly half the oxygen in the atmosphere. More than 1 billion people worldwide depend on the marine environment for goods and services such as coastal protection, food, income and livelihoods. Marine fish are critical to food security, particularly in coastal developing countries.

However, the oceans are in crisis. Climate change, pollution, coastal development and overfishing seriously threaten marine ecosystem integrity and the way of life for the millions of people dependent on these ecosystems.ocean

The GLOBE Marine Ecosystems Recovery Strategy (MERS)

GLOBE aims to recognise the central role played by legislators in developing, ratifying and monitoring the enforcement of domestic legislation, as well as in holding their governments to account over international commitments. The central pillar of this effort has been the GLOBE Marine Ecosystems Recovery Strategy (MERS), which serves as an action plan for legislators, recommending a range of international and national measures where legislators can make an important difference in addressing the drivers of marine ecosystem degradation. The strategy was adopted and progressed during World Ocean Day Forums in Copenhagen (October 2009) and London (June 2010, 2011).

The strategy focuses on three key aspects of the marine environment:

  1. Marine fisheries
  2. Tropical coral reef ecosystems
  3. Coastal shelf marine ecosystems


As an accompaniment to the Marine Ecosystem Recovery Strategy the Commission identified a number of best practice examples from the around the world for the four main themes addressed in the policy briefing paper:

  • Economic incentives
  • Fully integrated marine policy
  • High seas management
  • Ensuring compliance


The adoption of the GLOBE Selfridges Declaration (GLOBE Parliamentarians Declaration on Common Fisheries Policy Reform) by legislators from the parliaments of Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany and the European Parliament at the end of the GLOBE World Oceans Day Forum 'Reforming the European Common Fisheries Policy' in London in June 2011 was the opening shot of an EU-wide, legislators-led campaign on the reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) across the national parliaments of the EU Member States and the European

Following the GLOBE Selfridges Declaration, a number of GLOBE legislators made formal and informal parliamentary interpellations to their respective Governments in Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Britain and Poland. In addition, several national GLOBE chapters hosted national and regional parliamentary roundtables and conferences on the CFP reform proposal tabled by the European Commission and the ongoing negotiations, seeking to promote a progressive domestic political consensus consistent with the 18 ambitions stated in the GLOBE Selfridges Declaration as the necessary component of any new regulation in order to achieve a healthy marine environment and a sustainable fishing industry in Europe for future generations, and to enable Europe to restore its poor record on sustainable fisheries management and ocean governance and take global leadership.

Coral Reef Protection

GLOBE has worked in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to develop policy proposals to address the degradation of tropical shallow coral reefs, in response to an initial discussion on a global legislative response at the GLOBE International Climate Change Forum in Copenhagen in October 2009.

The aim of the policy document was to provide legislators and other policymakers around the world with a set of policies to build resilience in coral reef ecosystems and the communities that rely on them.

The policy document contained five key objectives

  1. Enable sustainable fishing
  2. Manage watersheds and water quality to reduce pollution
  3. Increase marine protected areas coverage and effectiveness
  4. Increase effective management and governance
  5. Increase environmental education and awareness

The policy proposals for coral reefs was further developed and finalised by legislators from key coral reef nations at the GLOBE International meeting at the CBD COP-10 in Nagoya, Japan on 24th October 2010.