Accelerating Ocean Sustainability Upstream

High-Level Working Dialogue — to map, connect & advance upstream inputs to the sustainable ocean economy


Monaco — 27 March 2019
Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

Read the Full Report


The Acceleration Dialogues are a series of high-level diplomatic dialogues, co-convened since October 2015 by Citizens’ Climate and the International Center for Dialogue and Peacebuilding, with technical support from the Geoversiv Foundation, in collaboration with the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

  • The first dialogue led to publication of an outline of climate-related economic and investment opportunity.
  • Subsequent dialogues have explored critical challenges toward achieving macro-critically resilient economies.
  • The common theme is how to ensure investment secures a healthy relationship between human activity and Earth’s life-support systems.
  • Through the work of this series, the goal was set to achieve 100% climate-smart finance, through the Resilience Intel initiative.

Thematic Focus

Mapping Upstream Investments in the Sustainable Ocean Economy

Ocean resilience starts upstream. The challenge of solving climate change and achieving sustainable development for the long-term, for all nations, demands we build an economy that is capable of securing ocean health and resilience — a blue economy. 

Given the need to shift investment in all sectors toward ocean-smart practices, this high-level dialogue will explore ways in which sustainability-focused investment in upstream activities — industry, agriculture, waste management, transport, energy — will contribute to the growth of a sustainable ocean economy. By mapping connections between upstream actions and downstream resilience, we aim to advance the discovery and deployment of new financial resources and innovation options for securing the health and resilience of ocean ecosystems. 

A critical outcome will be to widen the scope of discussions about investment in the blue economy to encompass all elements of business, finance, and relevant policy. The ocean-affecting industries and areas of innovation to be explored include: 

  • Chemical processing and refining
  • Manufacturing
  • Waste management
  • Agriculture and land use
  • Ecosystem stewardship
  • Infrastructure design and urbanization
  • Energy production
  • Transportation

We will be inviting key leaders in government, science and innovation, business and investment, and international agencies, to join this discussion from the critical perspectives that allow for mapping the upstream sustainable ocean economy influences outlined above.


Challenge Questions

The dialogue will address four major systemic and technical challenge questions: 

  1. Which measurable ocean impacts can be traced from which high-value actions on land?
  2. Which existing or emerging tools and techniques will expand the traceability of upstream causes of downstream impacts?
  3. Which existing or emerging financing models will do the most to steer investment to activities that have a positive impact on ocean sustainability?
  4. How can we connect tools, metrics, innovations, and emerging insights to connect these distinct sectors to new areas of ocean-smart value creation? 

Emerging insights will be carried forward into a series of follow-up Acceleration Dialogues, and will inform the Resilience Intel climate-smart finance initiative as well as structured guidance to the U.N. Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September 2019. 

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The Dialogue will take place at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.


Outcomes & Follow-up


The major challenge questions and ocean-related follow-up from this dialogue connect to Geoversiv’s Ocean Health and Resilience program, the Ocean Neutrality Initiative, and the wider work taking place through the Acceleration Dialogues.

Ocean Resilient Investment Guidance

D4C4AEDF-3305-4A43-96B8-1E1A8671B522The first major outcome will be a report titled ‘Invest at the Source’, which will be released on World Ocean Day 2019 — the 8th of June. 

The ocean, like the climate, is a global fabric of interactions. Actions we think are local or regional rise to a planetary scale, when their impacts are projected through a planetary system, like the ocean. Because our choices not only impact life under water, but also lead to repercussions we can feel, the ocean is a reservoir of signals about our own prospects for sustainable thriving.

Reading the ocean signal is increasingly vital for the future wellbeing of humanity. So, this report outlines major challenges and specific areas of investment across 10 action areas, which could help to shape economy-wide investment in ocean health and resilience.

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Ocean Health & Resilience — policy & process

We aim to connect the outcomes of this dialogue to already existing processes of negotiation and innovation, including:

  • The Global Commission on Adaptation
  • The High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy
  • The Stockholm Food Forum and related food system transformation work
  • The 2019 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit
  • The UNFCCC mid-year negotiations and COP25
  • The World Bank / IMF Spring Meetings and Annual Meetings
  • The Geoversiv Ocean Health and Resilience Program
  • The Resilience Intel climate-smart finance information service

Resilience Intel

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Resilience Intel is a coalition effort, intended to leverage economy-shaping insights from the fields of Earth-systems science, social sciences and economics, public and private finance, industry and community-level quality-of-life, to visualize overall resilience.


Ocean Civics

The Engage4Climate Toolkit for local stakeholder meetings provides a variety of meeting types, a 20-year visioning process, and guidance for structured input to policy-makers. Citizens’ Climate Education — in support of ocean health and resilience and the connection of Earth science to policy, finance, and quality-of-life considerations — will be supporting ocean-related local and sectoral convenings.

  • Please inquire here, if you would like to participate in or host any of these events.
  • File your report here, if you have already organized such events.

Contribute your insights

The outcome document will be released on 8 June 2019 — World Ocean Day. If you would like to share your insights about areas of investment upstream that will contribute to Ocean Health and Resilience downstream, please use this form to share your thoughts, work-product, ongoing and emerging efforts, and/or to request a conversation. 


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