A healthy ocean is a valuable natural asset that, if maintained and nurtured, can provide ‘ecosystem services’ that contribute to economic expansion – or ‘blue growth’ – in developing coastal and island countries. World Bank investments in the oceans between 2007 and 2011 have supported developing coastal and island countries in improving the health of their ocean environments, enhancing the value of the ecosystem services they provide to the local and global economy. In particular, these investments supported countries to manage the transition to more sustainable fisheries, establish coastal and marine protected areas, and implement integrated coastal and marine ecosystem management. In the years going forward, the Bank aims to significantly scale up investments in the development and implementation of new laws and institutions for the use of ocean ecosystem services in countries’ waters, through leadership in a Global Partnership for Oceans.
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