The State Department’s “Our Ocean” conference concluded Tuesday, with an array of countries and private groups pledging to spend more money to address the problems of overfishing, pollution and ocean acidification. Who are the big spenders? We break it down:
Norway. Flush with money from its oil and gas activities, Norway consistently ranks as one of the world’s most generous donors to environmental causes. The government pledged to devote $1 billion to help address climate change and efforts to adapt to its impacts, along with $150 million to promote fisheries development and management and up to $1 million to fund a study to examine marine plastic debris and microplastics.
The Global Environment Facility. The GEF, which is funded by several industrialized nations, announced it would spend $460 million on marine conservation and restoration as well as fisheries and coastal management. On top of that, the GEF and World Bank said they were awaiting the approval of the World Bank’s board to spend $10 million to support better management of tuna and other migratory fish in the developing world.
The United States. The U.S. government rolled out more than $180 million in specific commitments. These included $170 million in U.S. AID funding for coastal programs; $9 million over the next three years to monitor carbon emissions’ impact on the sea through the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network; $1.24 million to combat ocean acidification and marine pollution in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean through the Center International Atomic Energy Agency; and $640,000 to support an Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center, based in Monaco.
“President Obama has shown a clear commitment to protecting our ocean and its marine ecosystems, which are vital to Americans all over the country for food, jobs, and recreation,” said Mike Boots, acting chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, in a statement.
Leonardo DiCaprio. Through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the actor vowed to spend $7 million over the next two years on significant ocean conservation projects, including supporting developing nations who create no-take marine reserves.
The Nature Conservancy. With support from the Lyda Hill Foundation, The Nature Conservancy said it would spend $3.8 million on a “Map the Ocean’s Wealth” project aimed at quantifying the economic benefits that come from the sea, and identifying where they take place.
The Waitt Foundation, Rare, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the University of California Santa Barbara Bren School. The three non-profits and university joined forces to create “Fish Forever,” a commitment of $2.5 million over five years to support fisheries management.
The Ocean Foundation. The foundation announced it was kicking off an effort to raise $1 million over the next year to support the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network through a new, allied fund.