Earth Law Center is committed to ensuring holistic and rights-based governance of our ocean and coastal species and ecosystems. We promoted this approach at the UN Ocean Conference, with a statement and initiative which garnered the support of over 60 organizations from 32 countries (to remain open to signatories).

To sign on in support of the initiative email mbender@earthlaw.org.

The ocean covers over seventy percent of our planet, generates over fifty percent of the oxygen, regulates climate and provides food and jobs for millions of people. Over-fishing, pollution and habitat destruction has led to a global decline in marine biodiversity of 49%, roughly half of what it was 50 years ago. With climate change expected to exacerbate the decline of marine ecosystem health, the time is now to ensure we protect this vital part of our planet, the source of life.

ELC’s ‘Ocean Rights-based Governance’ initiative advances ocean stewardship by promoting governance centered on the Ocean’s well-being and guided by principles of sustainability, ecosystem, precaution and interconnectedness. The Ocean influences our climate, and in turn, our climate effects ocean and coastal communities. Accordingly, the program aims to not only establish protection for coastal communities and marine ecosystems, but to ensure these areas are fully protected and effectively managed. ELC’s objectives to ensure this outcome include:

Objective 1: Creating a holistic and ocean rights-based model legislation for ocean law and policy.

Objective 2: Establishing marine protected areas and sanctuaries, and securing legal rights for these areas.

Objective 3: Passing rights of nature laws in coastal communities, focusing on sustainability and proactive management.

Objective 4: Ensuring international treaty laws reflect the inherent rights of the ocean (such as through the Marine Biodiversity Treaty for the High Seas and Beyond, currently under negotiation).


Read "A New Paradigm for Our Ocean" blog to learn more.

To learn more about our ocean program or to partner with ELC, email Michelle Bender, Ocean Rights Manager, mbender@earthlaw.org.



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