Conserving the biodiversity of marine and coastal areas

Project descrition

Title: Blue Solutions – Implementing the CBD Strategic Plan for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity
Commissioned by: The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Country: Global
overall term: 2013 to 2021

Logo der Initiative „Blue Solutions“


Oceans and coastlines around the world are endangered. The international Blue Solutions Initiative campaigns for the conservation of marine biodiversity. The United Nations biodiversity convention (Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD) provides the framework for this. With more than 190 parties, it is the most comprehensive binding international agreement in the field of nature conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. Blue Solutions contributes to implementing its strategic plan.


Promising concepts and methods to protect marine and coastal zones and promote their sustainable use have been disseminated and applied via global knowledge sharing and the development of specialist capacities.

2.) Frauen bei der Ernte von Seegras in Tansania. © GIZ


Blue Solutions supports selected partner countries in achieving their objectives for the protection and sustainable use of their marine and coastal areas. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH works closely with the Norwegian foundation GRID-Arendal, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment).

The project seeks ‘Blue Solutions’ – in other words, successful, tried-and-tested solutions to marine challenges. These are disseminated via conferences, webinars and the web platform PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet.

Blue Solutions consist of several building blocks, which can also be applied in other regions or to address similar challenges. The project thus promotes the exchange of knowledge, experience and solutions – even between the countries of the Global South (South-South exchange).

An international team of experts has developed four modular training courses, which are being implemented successfully in Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa. 

The project facilitates exchange between partner countries, thus enabling them to enhance their skills and knowledge. Important issues here include marine spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management, adaptation to climate change in coastal areas and the integration of ecosystem services into planning processes.

The project helps to shape policies for the conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity. Central fields of action of the biodiversity convention are thus fulfilled.

3.) Fischer in Kambodscha bei der Arbeit. © GIZ


The project has organised side events during important conferences such as the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the first UN Ocean Confer-ence and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), in which 40 to 100 people took part. Regional forums with participants from a total of 87 countries have been held in Latin and Central America, South-East Asia and Africa.

In cooperation with the Global Leadership Academy, which is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Sustainable Oceans Lab has been developed. Thirty leading representatives from different social spheres and 14 countries have taken part in this, exploring new pathways to the sustainable management of marine ecosystems.

As a founding member of the PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet partnership, the project supports the thematic community on marine and coastal areas. There are currently more than 200 Blue Solutions from Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa in the knowledge portfolio. In order to achieve the greatest possible visibility, the solutions are regularly communicated via social media, brochures, websites and newsletters.

A total of more than 400 participants from over 20 different countries have taken part in 18 completed training courses on the subjects of marine and coastal spatial planning, adaptation to climate change and ecosystem services in coastal regions. People from more than 50 countries have taken part in a series of webinars on the sustainable management of marine resources.