By Jeff Baron

Counterpart International has joined the Global Partnership for Oceans in the effort to protect the world’s largest resource.

The partnership, organized by the World Bank, brings together governments, international organizations, nonprofit groups and businesses. They developed the Declaration for Healthy and Productive Oceans to Reduce Poverty, approved June 16 at the Rio+20 Summit, which sets targets for achieving healthy oceans by 2022.

“Counterpart International is committed to protecting the health and productivity of the oceans, which are at the center of humankind’s health and welfare today and far into the future,” Counterpart President and CEO Joan C. Parker said in a letter to the partnership.

“Our work in sustainable tourism, coral restoration, and protecting fragile coastal ecosystems are aligned with the same objectives as the Declaration: sustaining livelihoods from capture fisheries; preserving and restoring critical coastal habitats and biodiversity; and reducing ocean and coastal pollution,” Parker said. “We look forward to working alongside the other GPO partners and Declaration signatories to achieve these goals at a scale that matters.”

Counterpart’s concern with the oceans goes back to its start 47 years ago as the Foundation for the South Pacific. It has developed innovative programs in Climate Change, Livelihoods and Resource Management and in Integrated Coastal and Climate Management. Current projects include coral restoration, sustainable fisheries and sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.

The June 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, better known as the Earth Summit, was a landmark in the environmental movement and made sustainable development a central issue for the UN. The current Rio+20 Summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, is carrying that work forward.

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