Press releases

Theme of Future Policy Award 2012: Oceans and Coasts

World Future Council partners with CBD, GEF and FAO to present awards in Hyderabad, India

Hamburg/Montreal/Washington D.C./Rome, 7 February 2012. Over 70 per cent of the earth is covered in oceans and major seas. Their health is a prerequisite for the survival of humanity. Yet, they are degrading fast. In order to address this pressing issue the World Future Council (WFC) announced today that it will present its Future Policy Award 2012 to the world’s most inspiring, innovative and influential policies on the protection of oceans and coasts.

The prestigious Future Policy Award is the first and only award that celebrates policies rather than people at the international level.

When announcing the topic of oceans and coasts, Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, said: “With the Future Policy Award we want to cast a spotlight on policies that lead by example. The aim of the World Future Council is to raise global awareness of visionary policies and speed up policy action in the interests of present and future generations.”

This year's award ceremony will take place in Hyderabad, India in October 2012. It will be hosted by the World Future Council in partnership with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and with the support of the Okeanos Foundation.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “Ocean ecosystems harbour an incredible diversity of life. Policy-makers have a critical role to play in preserving this biodiversity, as poor management of marine and coastal environments is the root cause of biodiversity loss and degradation of these vital ecosystems.”

Monique Barbut, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, commented: “Developing countries are now becoming much more active in restoring and protecting their coastal oceans. With a portfolio of over 100 countries using GEF grants to improve the condition of oceans and coasts, we are delighted to partner with the World Future Council in its endeavour to identify, award, and promote adoption of these critical policies.“

Arni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, said: “Humanity depends on the sustainable management of the marine environment to realise the Human Right to Food. Over a billion people rely on oceans as a source of protein and over half a billion people are dependent on oceans and coasts for their livelihoods. This is why it is so important to promote policies that successfully address the multiple threats to oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them for their livelihoods.”

Nominations for the Future Policy Award are received from a select group of international organisations as well as from Councillors and advisors of the World Future Council. A research team screens all nominated policies according to the seven principles for sustainable development law that were presented at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. As a result, an evaluation report is presented to the international jury composed of experts from all five continents.

The winning policies will be announced at the United Nations Headquarters in September 2012. The award ceremony on October 16 will be part of the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-11) in Hyderabad.


Notes to Editors

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany. For more information, visit . For information on the Future Policy Award: For press enquiries, please contact Anne Reis at or on +49 3070 914-16.


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a subsidiary agreement to the Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 161 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal. For more information visit: For press enquiries, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at ; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund(at)


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The goals of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are to reduce hunger and malnutrition, eliminate poverty through economic and social progress and support sustainable management and utilization of natural resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since the founding in 1945, FAO has focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people. For press enquiries, please contact Tina Farmer at or +39 06 570 56846 / + 39 340 161 4006, or Irina Utkina at or +39 06 570 52542 / +39 34 88 967 961.


Global Environment Facility


The GEF unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.

Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $10 billion in grants and leveraging $47 billion in co-financing for over 2,800 projects in over 168 countries. For more information, visit

For press enquiries, please contact Mr. John Diamond at or +1 202 458 7953.


Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea


Okeanos funds scientific projects devoted to marine conservation and makes their findings available to the public. The Foundation also aims to render the fascinating wonders of the deep more widely known. For more information visit


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