Blue Solutions – Solutions for the Conservation of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems

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 2018

Logo der Initiative „Blue Solutions“


The planet’s oceans and coastlines are more endangered than ever. The global Blue Solutions Initiative campaigns for the protection of biodiversity and maritime ecosystems.

The framework is provided by the United Nations biodiversity convention of 1992 (Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD). 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 and inspiring concepts, methods and instruments to protect marine and coastal zones and promote their sustainable use will become more widespread via global knowledge sharing and training courses (or capacity development).

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


Blue Solutions supports selected partner countries and stakeholders under CBD in achieving their objectives for the protection and sustainable use of their marine and coastal areas by 2020. GIZ 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 identifies inspiring Blue Solutions: successful, tried-and-tested solutions to marine issues. These are then prepared for the public and subsequently disseminated via conferences, webinars and the web platform PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet.

The underlying idea is for successful Blue Solutions to always consist of several elements (building blocks) which can also be applied in other contexts and regions or to address other challenges. The project thus promotes the exchange of knowledge, experiences and solutions – even between the countries of the Global South (south-south exchange).

Under the guiding principle of ecosystem-based management and in close collaboration with international experts, the project has developed three different modular training courses and is carrying them out successfully in various countries in Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa.

This allows the project to help develop and improve skills and knowledge in the partner countries (capacity development), particularly in the areas of 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 furthermore advises on policy-making for the conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity, contributing to the implementation of one of the central areas of activity under CBD.

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


During the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the first UN Ocean Conference and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), the project organised side events with 40 to 100 participants; regional forums with participants from a total of 58 countries were held in Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa.

Thirty leading representatives from different social spheres and 14 countries explored new pathways to the sustainable management of marine ecosystems during Sustainable Oceans Lab, a leadership training programme held jointly with the Global Leadership Academy, which is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

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 160 Blue Solutions from Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa in the 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 300 participants from over 20 different countries have taken part in 15 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 range of webinars on the sustainable management of marine resources.