World in Transition: Governing the Marine Heritage
World in Transition: Governing the Marine Heritage
Flagship Report

World in Transition: Governing the Marine Heritage

World in Transition: Governing the Marine Heritage

The oceans are part of the common heritage of mankind and should, in the long term, be granted this status under international law. This would give them better protection and ensure that they are managed in a sustainable way.


In view of the oceans’ poor condition the WBGU developed a long-term vision of the conservation and sustainable use of the blue continent: All marine zones with the exception of territorial waters should be declared the common heritage of mankind.

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In order to move closer to this ultimate goal for ocean governance, the WBGU also makes recommendations for action that link up with ongoing political processes. In this context it examines the example of two focal themes: food (sustainable fisheries and aquaculture) and energy from the sea. The report shows that sustainable stewardship of the oceans is urgently necessary, that the seas can be incorporated into a transformation towards a low-carbon, sustainable society, and that such a transformation can achieve substantial benefits worldwide both for a sustainable energy supply and for food security.

Photo: K.H.Reichert [ … ]. License: CC BY-NC 2.0. Title: coming home. Link: Disclaimer see imprint.
Bild von Günter Vogel/Greenpeace Hamburg. Lizenz CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Titel: Aktionstage für Meeresschutzgebiete und eine bessere Fischereipolitik. Link: Disclaimer see imprint.
Photo: Paul. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Title: Teeside Offshore Wind Farm. Link: Disclaimer see imprint.

Voices to this Report

The `World in Transition – Governing the Marine Heritage´ report presents a thought provoking look at crucial aspects of oceans governance. It resonates strongly with our thinking in the World Bank and among the partners of the Global Partnership for Oceans. Nation states, civil society and industry need to work together to support more sustainable and productive ocean use. This report makes a valuable contribution to global thinking on how best we might secure a sustainable future from healthy oceans.

Rachel Kyte, Vice President, Sustainable Development, The World Bank (2014-2015)