Investments aligned with this Strategic Goal aim to protect, restore, and increase biodiversity in marine habitats by reducing the degradation of marine ecosystems and increasing the size of protected area.

The sections below include an overview of the approach for achieving desired goals, supporting evidence, core metrics that help measure performance toward goals, and a curated list of resources to support collecting, reporting on, and using data for decision-making.


Dimensions of Impact: WHAT

Investors interested in deploying this strategy should consider the scale of the addressable problem, what positive outcomes might be, and how important the change would be to the people (or planet) experiencing it.

Key questions in this dimension include:

What problem does the investment aim to address? For the target stakeholders experiencing the problem, how important is this change?

Human action has led to the worldwide deterioration of nature and its vital contributions to human society, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services. Supply chains, economies, and livelihoods worldwide already face adverse impacts from degrading marine biodiversity, even as global population growth and current consumption patterns increase the pressure on ecosystem services. Our seas are home to many species, habitats, and ecosystems. The vital ecosystem services they provide our society include food, energy, clean air, and climate change mitigation. Through the continued unsustainable use of natural resources, however, we have altered the sea’s physio-chemical environment and the habitats and ecosystems within. The resilience of our seas is eroding, and their ecosystems, habitats, and biodiversity, as well as the services they provide, are under significant threat (1).

In the marine environment, overexploitation, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change heavily harm biodiversity. Half of all live coral cover has disappeared since 1870, leading to a 34% decline in reef-associated fish between 1979 and 2010 (2). Many aquatic species are vulnerable to physical disturbance; effects on one species can have far-reaching impacts on trophic interactions and entire ecosystems (3). For example, the removal of habitat affecting one specific species may, for example, remove a food source for another species, breaking a link in the chain and leaving whole aquatic ecosystems susceptible to collapse.

Overexploitation of seafood is the largest relative impact on oceans, but land- and ocean-based pollution, coastal development, invasive species, offshore infrastructure, mining, mariculture, and deep-sea mining also have important negative impacts on marine ecosystems (4). Land-based pollution primarily involves nutrient run-off that dumps large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus into the oceans, stimulating extreme flowering of phytoplankton. The decomposition process at the end of the excess phytoplankton’s lifecycle consumes oxygen, creating anoxic ‘dead’ zones in which no aquatic life is possible (5,6). Climate change acidifies and warms the oceans, damaging the shells and exoskeletons of marine organisms like coral and shellfish (7,8). This disturbed oceanic carbon cycle decreases the ocean’s carbon uptake in a negative feedback loop: increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations raise global temperatures, further disrupting oceanic carbon uptake (9).

Given past and ongoing rapid declines, most international societal and environmental goals for marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services are under threat. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the marine biodiversity goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be achieved on current trajectories, which will undermine other goals, such as those specified in the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity (10). A broad mix of measures and investments in coastal states and buy-in from industry will be needed to safeguard and restore the quality of our marine ecosystems, their biodiversity, and our collective livelihoods.

Investments aligned with this Strategic Goal can:

  • deploy funds to implement a Global Blue Carbon Market strategy, which includes marine systems (11);
  • invest in the research, development, and implementation of Blue Economy strategies that encourage ocean-friendly actions to conserve and restore marine environments, increasing the amount and type of marine habitats (12,13,14);
  • protect and restore coastal mangroves or coral reefs;*
  • invest in the nascent approach of ocean farming, cultivating sea plants or seashells, which will require much more research on its environmental and commercial potential (15,16);
  • support tourism that in turn supports the protection and restoration of coral reefs;
  • grow sustainable, wild-caught marine fisheries or sustainable marine aquaculture;**
  • support technological solutions to address pressures on biodiversity, such as plastic pollution; and
  • fund technological solutions to monitor aquatic ecosystems, such as systems that collect data from remote sensors and process that data using artificial intelligence.

*For more on coastal restoration, see the Strategic Goal in this theme, “Improving biodiversity through nature-based solutions and green infrastructure.”

**For more on fisheries, see the Strategic Goal in this theme, “Improving biodiversity through reducing impacts from salt- and freshwater aquaculture & fisheries.”

What is the scale of the problem?

Globally, the majority of marine ecosystem health and biodiversity indicators are rapidly declining, leading the United Nations Secretary-General to describe the world’s current loss of biodiversity as an urgent and existential threat (17,18). Although oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, less than 7% is categorized as protected area (19,20).

Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic pollution affects at least 267 species, and thus marine ecosystems in general, a tenfold increase from 1980 (21,22). About a decade ago, there were already more than 400 dead zones worldwide, a number which continues to grow (23). Unsustainable ocean management has caused the loss of 33% of marine mammals and 20% of coral reefs; half of coral species have already disappeared (24,25). Without mitigation measures, all coral reefs will disappear by 2050 (26).

Declining marine biodiversity jeopardizes the free benefits that society derives from nature. For example, shrinking Caribbean coral reefs have led to USD 300 million less annual diving tourism across the region (27). The total goods and services provided by the blue economy annually are conservatively valued in excess of USD 2.5 trillion (28).


Dimensions of Impact: WHO

Investors interested in deploying this strategy should consider whom they want to target, as almost every strategy has a host of potential beneficiaries. While some investors may target women of color living in a particular rural area, others may set targets more broadly, e.g., women. Investors interested in targeting particular populations should focus on strategies that have been shown to benefit those populations.

Key questions in this dimension include:

Who (people, planet, or both) is helped through investments aligned with this Strategic Goal?

Though investments aligned with this Strategic Goal could positively affect people and planet quite broadly, specific target stakeholders include the following:

  • Flora and fauna: Different flora and fauna fulfill a variety of functions within marine ecosystems, ensuring their optimal performance. A decrease in the number of marine species, including seagrasses, oysters, and corals, leads to a direct decline in ecosystem services, whether regulating or provisional services (29). Coral reefs sustain other ecosystems, such as mangroves and seagrass communities, which in turn support endangered species like the green turtle (30).
  • Coastal communities: Measures to protect, conserve, and restore ocean biodiversity contribute to the livelihoods, safety, and cultural values of coastal and inland stakeholders. Coral reefs and mangroves play a particularly important economic function, providing food and building materials, coastal protection, and tourism. In the context of coastal protection, loss of coral reefs threatens up to 300 million people (31). The effects of a 28% reduction in mangrove cover between 1980 and 2002 in Southeast Asia were tragically demonstrated during the 2004 South Asian Tsunami. In the future, with denser populations in coastal areas and increased risk of extreme weather events, the human and economic costs of damage to coastal ecosystems will only grow (32).
  • Climate: Oceans store nearly 25% of human carbon emissions; this ‘blue carbon’ is key to mitigating climate change (33). Mangroves, for instance, absorb up to four times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests (34). Conservation of biodiverse marine habitats to mitigate climate change is possible at a fraction of the costs associated with the consequences of further global warming.
  • Protected areas and beyond: Protected areas preserve existing biodiversity by controlling or eliminating human impacts on marine habitats. The current global protected area network contains just 7.4% of global oceans and receives just USD 24.3 billion annually, roughly one-third of what is needed for effective management. Closing these critical funding shortfalls will be required to effectively increase and manage the global protected area network and address international goals for biodiversity protection.
  • Businesses: The World Economic Forum estimates that USD 44 trillion of economic value generation is moderately or highly dependent on nature (35). Natural, biodiverse marine ecosystems provide ecosystem services to the benefit of businesses. Oceans provide opportunities for novel pharmaceutical discovery and development (36). The scenic beauty of specific ecosystems, such as coral reefs, and their resident species, drive USD 36 billion in value to the tourism sector (37). In addition to their recreational value, coral reefs also produce food (i.e., fisheries) and protect against flooding and hurricanes, the latter of which is relevant to businesses that are assessing external risks and dependencies.

What are the geographic attributes of those who are affected?

Threats to marine biodiversity are geographically heterogeneous and vary substantially with taxonomy (38). A comprehensive analysis at the University of California, Santa Barbara found that just 0.1% of the ocean truly stood at least concern for extinction, while 83% of the world’s oceans have at least a quarter of resident species threatened. The Mediterranean and Black Seas faced the greatest threats to biodiversity, while Asia and North America are well-protected in highly impacted areas. Countries in Asia and North America may therefore offer opportunities to maintain the health of less-degraded areas at relatively low cost (39).

In terms of specific habitats, coral reefs are most threatened in Indonesia and the Philippines, while 80% of mangrove degradation takes place in Southeast Asia (40,41).


Dimensions of Impact: CONTRIBUTION

Investors considering investing in a company or portfolio aligned with this strategy should consider whether the effect they want to have compares to what is likely to happen anyway. Is the investment's contribution ‘likely better’ or ‘likely worse’ than what is likely to occur anyway across What, How much and Who?

Key questions in this dimension include:

How can investments in line with this Strategic Goal contribute to outcomes, and are these investments’ effects likely better, worse, or neutral than what would happen otherwise

Organizations can consider contribution at two levels—enterprise and investor. At the enterprise level, contribution is “the extent to which the enterprise contributed to an outcome by considering what would have otherwise happened in absence of their activities (i.e., a counterfactual scenario).” To learn more about methods for assessing counterfactuals, see the Impact Management Project.

Investor contribution can be described those factors that investors have influence over that can proactively and positively influence proportional social and environmental outcomes. Investors can contribute toward addressing the larger issues of the degradation of marine ecosystem health as follows:

  • Signal that impact matters by investing in projects that prioritize the health of marine ecosystems and ocean beds, building networks and interest in the sector, and demonstrating commitment to addressing environmental problems through biodiversity conservation. Investors can publicly champion transparent investment policies that align with ocean-positive strategies. Projects engaging actively in the field of biodiversity and sustainability can serve as illustrative case studies, offering starting points to set industry trends and standards.
  • Engage actively in the development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation stages of investments by providing technical assistance in conservation, restoration planning, and other relevant fields. Importantly, investor engagement should not cover just those aspects of performance and policies relevant to investees’ own operations. Biodiversity impacts are highly contextual, defined mostly by the local vulnerability of ecosystems and the cumulative impacts of different stakeholders. For example, a marine restoration project can only be effective if land-based pollution is also managed to prevent downstream plankton blooms. As such, investors should mobilize alignment between project developers or companies and integrated approaches to managing marine biodiversity. Recently, listed equity investors have begun to explore a platform for standardized collective shareholder engagement specifically on nature and biodiversity (52).
  • Grow new and undersupplied capital markets, for example by investing in previously overlooked opportunities in marine biodiversity conservation and restoration. Insurance products, such as risk pools, can be used to hedge against the risk of financial losses that may result from damages to the insured party from environmental loss or disaster (for example, degraded coral reefs and coastal flooding). Insurance products have only recently begun to extend to natural ecosystems, such as coral reefs and mangroves (53). Trusts can be established to fund coral reef protection and restoration activities and to pay insurance premiums against potential damage to the reef from hurricanes.
  • Provide flexible capital. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are public goods whose true value is not reflected in economic transactions. Policy frameworks and voluntary markets are still developing. Therefore, ‘blended finance’ is needed that leverages capital from public institutions or philanthropy to crowd in private capital. Many business models in biodiversity remain early stage, making it difficult to attract a broad range of investors to scale up (54). By providing flexible capital through blended finance vehicles and other products to communities and businesses who work with stakeholders in marine ecosystems, investors can contribute to ecosystem or environmental health. Long-term investments can target biodiversity restoration outcomes, as well as research and development of tools that allow entrepreneurs to accelerate impact. Guarantees, which can be capital-efficient for the issuing public institutions, can help attract private and local investment to biodiversity conservation by improving the risk–return profiles of conservation projects. Investment funds, such as the Sustainable Ocean Fund , that support marine projects in emerging markets and island nations can leverage guarantees to reduce the risk of nonpayment to fund investors (55,56).

How Much

Dimensions of Impact: HOW MUCH

Investors deploying capital into investments aligned with this strategy should think about how significant the investment's effect might be. What is likely to be the change's breadth, depth, and duration?

Key questions in this dimension include:

How many target stakeholders can experience the outcome through investments aligned with this Strategic Goal?

Billions of animals and plants from marine species benefit from healthy and functioning ecosystems, as do humans. Nature provides human existence, quality of life, and culture with food, feed, energy, medicines, and genetic resources (42). In total, goods and services from the ocean amount to USD 2.5 trillion per year in the form of fishing, transportation, energy, tourism, and more (43).

The world’s oceans sequester nearly a quarter of global CO2 emissions and absorb 93% of climate heat (44). Strain from existing, irresponsible ocean management practices by humans will lead to further loss of natural resources and biodiversity. Existing losses include 20% of the world’s coral reefs and 20% of the world’s mangroves; 33% of marine mammals are threatened and 66% of the ocean experiences cumulative human pressures (44).

Coral reefs and mangroves have several specific benefits for stakeholders. Coral reefs are habitat and nurseries for sea life. They also protect coastal communities from flooding, storm damage, and erosion. In the same way, they enable the growth of mangroves and seagrass communities. With a capital value estimated at USD 50,000 per hectare, coral reefs add cultural and economic value, providing fisheries, medicines, recreation, and tourism. Reefs are an important source of employment and revenue for local communities (45,46). Mangroves, meanwhile, absorb up to four times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests and provide food, coastal protection, timber, and breeding areas for wildlife. In addition, two to five hectares of mangroves can filter effluents from one hectare of aquaculture (47,48).

Marine biodiversity, then, supports billions of people worldwide and in both rural and urban communities. Each investment will require separate calculation of its total number of target stakeholders, which will vary with factors such as how close communities live to protected marine areas and which benefits these communities derive from these areas.

How much change can target stakeholders experience through investments aligned with this Strategic Goal?

The extent of change that results from investments aligned with this Strategic Goal will depend on the size, scope, and attributes of the marine area affected, as well as the presence of any co-benefits from environmental rehabilitation and the investment’s length and stability. In general, however, McKinsey estimates that increasing the coverage of global protected area by 30%—for instance, by integrating measures to create or safeguard protected areas in investments—would grow or sustain conservation management, ecotourism, and sustainable fishing by USD 300–500 billion and create 30 million jobs, in addition to reducing up to 5% of global CO2 emissions (49).

Surveys of investors show that 75% believe that the Blue Economy is an investable product, while 45% of surveyed asset managers say their clients ask for such investments. Examples include Seychelles’ Blue Bond and the Credit Suisse Rockefeller Ocean Engagement Fund (50,51).


Dimensions of Impact: RISK

Key questions in this dimension include:

What impact risks do investments aligned with this Strategic Goal run? How can investments mitigate them?

The following are several impact risk factors for investments to improve marine biodiversity:

  • External Risk: When evaluating an investment, investors should factor in climate risks, such as extreme weather events like hurricanes and coastal flooding that can degrade coral reefs; environmental risks related to the insufficient coverage of the main drivers of ecosystem degradation; and social risks related to insufficient consultation of local coastal stakeholders, such as indigenous people and fishermen. Climate risk is most effectively mitigated through climate-scenario analysis at the project level and through climate-adaptation measures (such as coastal protection) in restoration investments. Mitigating environmental risk starts with a deep understanding of the drivers of marine biodiversity loss that might affect a certain project or investment and a plan to reduce or minimize these drivers. Overall, investors can apply an Environmental and Social Safeguards (or Standards), or ESS approach to substantially reduce environmental and social risks. Development institutions, international treaties, and agencies use ESS, a set of policies, standards, and operational procedures, to first identify and then to avoid, mitigate, and minimize adverse environmental and social impacts. The World Bank’s ESS Section 1 covers assessment and management of environmental and social risks (57).
  • Evidence Risk: Notwithstanding progress made in measuring and monitoring climate risks and benefits, collecting biodiversity data is complex and challenging. For example, there is no single, high-level policy goal for biodiversity conservation akin to the 1.5°C warming ceiling established by the Paris Agreement. Conserving biodiversity is a much more complex financial problem than climate change, in part because it greatly depends on local factors, despite having global implications. Data are limited on the complex relationship between companies and marine biodiversity as mediated through operations and supply chains. Furthermore, there is no clear taxonomy of biodiversity investments and definitions, nor are there widely accepted risk assessment and reporting frameworks (58). Investors can minimize this risk by implementing formalized and standardized monitoring, reporting, and evidence-collection procedures. At the same time, investors should (albeit with caution) embrace innovative measurement approaches. Interesting work related to the standardization of data and measurement approaches is available from the European Business & Biodiversity Platform’s workstream on methods (i.e., the Biodiversity Measurement Navigation Wheel); the Platform for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF), which is working towards a standard for assessing biodiversity impact and dependency; and the Align project (aligning accounting approaches for nature), which is developing a standardized approach to biodiversity measurement and closely cooperates with PBAF. However, many biodiversity measurement approaches for businesses or financial institutions have not yet been tailored for the marine environment. Finally, the enforcement of regulatory policies (both existing and those to come) that address the mismanagement of marine resources and risks to marine biodiversity in financial decisions must be underpinned by a global, evidence-based reporting and assessment mechanism, such as the Regular Process for Reporting and Assessment of the Marine Environment. But the scientific monitoring needed for this and other mechanisms to operate remains poorly funded, especially in developing countries (59).
  • Stakeholder Participation Risk: Investments face risks if they lack the support of both local communities and governments. Ecosystem-related projects risk lack of community support or participation if local stakeholders are not brought into the design and implementation of the project at an early stage. By engaging these stakeholders, investors can mitigate this risk. In terms of engagement with governments, investors should ensure that the invested region has strong regulation and enforcement of environmental protection laws.
  • Unexpected Impact Risk: Local coastal communities and Indigenous peoples are often both most vulnerable to the consequences of marine biodiversity loss and also critical potential partners in protecting biodiversity, especially when marine biodiversity attracts tourists. Due consideration of the rights, cultural practices, and ideas of Indigenous peoples and local communities should be part of any biodiversity-related effort. Investors should align their investment criteria with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Illustrative Investment

Blue Finance, which is backed by the United Nations and supported by partners (including Althelia Ecosphere, Conservation Capital, Deloitte, and Ropes&Gray), aims to develop 20 efficiently managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) before 2030 by connecting marine conservation with sustainable financing mechanisms – that is, providing financing to establish and maintain protection and management of registered MPAs through local nonprofit organizations. The social enterprise will benefit water quality and biodiversity by increasing the global marine protected area from 2% to 30%, the target set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Focusing on coastline protection, Blue Finance plans to protect 25,000 square kilometers of coral reef in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia and to improve the livelihoods of 200,000 families by, among other things, developing jobs in sustainable fishing and nature-friendly tourism. These protective actions are complemented by efforts to enhance community engagement (such as awareness campaigns), implement monitoring systems, and enforce rules.

The culture and economy of the Seychelles, a Large Ocean Developing State (LODS), depends on the ocean for ecosystem services like fishery and tourism. Islands are threatened by rising water levels, extreme storms, and decreasing fish stocks. To protect and conserve its natural resources, the Seychelles completed debt-for-nature conversion, also known as a Blue Bond, with The Nature Conservancy (TNC). About USD 22 million of the Seychelles’ sovereign debt was refinanced and redirected towards marine conservation and climate adaptation. Since TNC purchased the country’s debt on good terms, the government of the Seychelles could buy back a part of its debt and restructure it, spreading repayment over a longer period and at a lower interest rate. The budget gained was then invested in conservation measures. The government repays TNC into the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), which in turn also invests in marine conservation and climate adaptation. In return, the Seychelles promised to ensure the long-term sustainability of its marine systems by committing to a Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) and by developing 13 marine protected areas (MPAs) comprising more than 400,000 square kilometers, or 30% of the Seychelles’ total ocean area. In addition to the debt-for-nature conversion, the country has issued a sovereign Blue Bond through which investors’ funds are directly deployed to implement sustainable fishing practices.

Draw on Evidence

This mapped evidence shows what outcomes and impacts this strategy can have, based on academic and field research.

Mapping status and conservation of global at‐risk marine biodiversity 

O’Hara, Casey & Villaseñor-Derbez, Juan & Ralph, Gina & Halpern, Benjamin. (2019). Mapping status and conservation of global at‐risk marine biodiversity. Conservation Letters. 12. e12651. 10.1111/conl.12651. 

Mapping the global value and distribution of coral reef tourism 

Mark Spalding, Lauretta Burke, Spencer A. Wood, Joscelyne Ashpole, James Hutchison, Philine zu Ermgassen, Mapping the global value and distribution of coral reef tourism, Marine Policy, Volume 82, 2017, Pages 104-113, ISSN 0308-597X, 

Global fishery prospects under contrasting management regimes 

Costello, Christopher, Daniel Ovando, Tyler Clavelle, C. Kent Strauss, Ray Hilborn, Michael C. Melnychuk, Trevor A. Branch, et al. “Global Fishery Prospects under Contrasting Management Regimes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, no. 18 (2016): 5125–29.

Mussel Cultivation to Improve Water Quality in the Szczecin Lagoon

Stybel, N., C. Fenske, and G. Schernewski. “Mussel Cultivation to Improve Water Quality in the Szczecin Lagoon.” Journal of Coastal Research, 2009, 1459-463. Accessed July 22, 2021.

The relationship of spatial–temporal changes in fringe mangrove extent and adjacent land-use: Case study of Kien Giang coast, Vietnam 

Hai-Hoa Nguyen, Clive McAlpine, David Pullar, Kasper Johansen, Norman C. Duke, The relationship of spatial–temporal changes in fringe mangrove extent and adjacent land-use: Case study of Kien Giang coast, Vietnam, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 76, 2013, Pages 12-22, ISSN 0964-5691, 

Tropical seaweeds for human food, their cultivation and its effect on biodiversity enrichment

Radulovich, Ricardo, Schery Umanzor, Rubén Cabrera, and Rebeca Mata. “Tropical Seaweeds for Human Food, Their Cultivation and Its Effect on Biodiversity Enrichment.” Aquaculture 436 (2015): 40–46.

Conservation and restoration of mangroves: Global status, perspectives, and prognosis 

Romañach, Stephanie S., Donald L. DeAngelis, Hock Lye Koh, Yuhong Li, Su Yean Teh, Raja Sulaiman Raja Barizan, and Lu Zhai. “Conservation and Restoration of Mangroves: Global Status, Perspectives, and Prognosis.” Ocean & Coastal Management 154 (March 15, 2018): 72–82. 

Financing a sustainable ocean economy 

Sumaila, U.R., Walsh, M., Hoareau, K. et al. Financing a sustainable ocean economy. Nat Commun 12, 3259 (2021). 

Supporting resurgent Indigenous-led governance: A nascent mechanism for just and effective conservation

Kyle A. Artelle, Melanie Zurba, Jonaki Bhattacharyya, Diana E. Chan, Kelly Brown, Jess Housty, Faisal Moola. 2019. “Supporting resurgent Indigenous-led governance: A nascent mechanism for just and effective conservation.” Biological Conservation 108284. doi:”$”:

Coral reefs: their functions, threats and economic value 

Cesar, Herman S.J. “Coral Reefs: Their Functions, Threats and Economic Value .” Essay. In Collected Essays on the Economics of Coral Reefs, edited by Herman S.J. Cesar, 14–39. Kalmar, Sweden: CORDIO, Kalmar University, 2000.

Accelerating loss of seagrass across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems 

Waycott, M., C. M. Duarte, T. J. Carruthers, R. J. Orth, W. C. Dennison, S. Olyarnik, A. Calladine, et al. “Accelerating Loss of Seagrasses across the Globe Threatens Coastal Ecosystems.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, no. 30 (2009): 12377–81.

Exploring the potential for marine aquaculture to contribute to ecosystem services Gentry, R.R., Alleway, H.K., Bishop, M.J., Gillies, C.L., Waters, T. and Jones, R. (2020), Exploring the potential for marine aquaculture to contribute to ecosystem services. Rev Aquacult, 12: 499-512.
Integrated Mariculture: A global review

FAO. Integrated mariculture: a global review. No. 529. Rome, FAO. 2009. 183p.

The State of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020

FAO. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020: Sustainability in action. Rome, 2020.

Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition A report by The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition 

Pinstrup-Andersen, Per, Maryam Rahmanian, Amadou Allahoury, Marion D Guillou, Sheryl L Hendriks, Joanna Hewitt, Masa Iwanaga, et al. Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition. Rome: The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, 2014.

Novel concepts for offshore ocean farming

Colchester, Marcus. “Conservation Policy and Indigenous Peoples.” Environmental Science & Policy 7, no. 3 (2004): 145–53.

Coming Stakes in the Ocean: Food Production, Shipping and Trade, Tourism, Ecosystem-biodiversity, New Technologies and Climate Change Challenges in Bangladesh

Rouf, Muhammad Abdur, Md. Moshiur Rahman, Sk Mustafizur Rahman, and Md Nazmul Ahsan. “Coming Stakes in the Ocean: Food Production, Shipping and Trade, Tourism, Ecosystem-Biodiversity, New Technologies and Climate Change Challenges in Bangladesh.” Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics 6, no. 2 (2019).

Nature-Based and Technology-Based Solutions for Sustainable Blue Growth and Climate Change Mitigation in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

Nature-Based and Technology-Based Solutions for Sustainable Blue Growth and Climate Change Mitigation in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

Using technology to improve the management of development impacts on biodiversity 

White, Thomas B., Leonardo R. Viana, Geneviève Campbell, Claire Elverum, and Leon A. Bennun. “Using Technology to Improve the Management of Development Impacts on Biodiversity.” Business Strategy and the Environment, 2021.

In the business of dirty oceans: Overview of startups and entrepreneurs managing marine plastic

Dijkstra, Hanna, Pieter van Beukering, and Roy Brouwer. “In the Business of Dirty Oceans: Overview of Startups and Entrepreneurs Managing Marine Plastic.” Marine Pollution Bulletin 162 (2021): 111880.

Developments in Tagging Technology and Their Contributions to the Protection of Marine Species at Risk

Whoriskey, Frederick, and Mark Hindell. “Developments in Tagging Technology and Their Contributions to the Protection of Marine Species at Risk.” Ocean Development & International Law 47, no. 3 (2016): 221–32.

Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services 

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. IPBES secretariat. Bonn, Germany. 2019.  

A sea of many colours – How relevant is Blue Growth for capture fisheries in the Global North, and vice versa?

Boonstra, Wiebren J., Matilda Valman, and Emma Björkvik. “A Sea of Many Colours – How Relevant Is Blue Growth for Capture Fisheries in the Global North, and Vice Versa?” Marine Policy 87 (2018): 340–49.

Each resource is assigned a rating of rigor according to the NESTA Standards of Evidence.

Define Metrics

Core Metrics

This starter set of core metrics — chosen from the IRIS catalog with the input of impact investors who work in this area — indicate performance toward objectives within this strategy. They can help with setting targets, tracking performance, and managing toward success.

Interested in providing feedback on these IRIS metrics in the forthcoming public comment period? Request an invitation here and include “Biodiversity theme” in the box.

Additional Metrics

While the above core metrics provide a starter set of measurements that can show outcomes of a portfolio targeted toward this goal, the additional metrics below — or others from the IRIS catalog — can provide more nuance and depth to understanding your impact.