World Ocean Council Program Will Develop Coordinated, Pro-active Business Community Involvement in U.S. Ocean Policy and Planning

7 February 2013 -- The World Ocean Council (WOC) is launching a two-year effort to improve ocean business community understanding, collaboration and participation in U.S. ocean policy and marine spatial planning (MSP) developments.

The WOC program includes:

• Organizing a national business conference on U.S. ocean policy in 2014.
• Developing an ocean business community roster in each of the 9 MSP regions.
• Establishing ocean business leadership fora in 3 of the MSP regions.

Private sector involvement is essential to achieving balanced and lasting outcomes to marine policy and management efforts. For example, without business involvement in MSP - which seeks to guide the intensity and location of uses in an area - there is a significant risk that planning will not fully consider existing and potential economic activities and will miss out on key marine resource, use and ecosystem information held by industry. Business participation in MSP is critical to ensuring it delivers its proposed benefits to responsible industry operators, such as streamlined permitting.

Although the WOC effort is focused on the U.S., the outputs will be of importance to the ocean business community in other countries and regions where ocean policies and MSP are under development, e.g. Europe, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

The Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) - 22-24 April, 2013, Washington, D.C. - includes an important session on MSP that will provide input to the new WOC program by addressing:
• What is the business case for MSP?
• How can ocean industries ensure they are informed and engaged in a coordinated, pro-active manner?
• What is needed to make sure that MSP reflects the needs and opportunities of industry involvement?

The WOC is recruiting an ocean policy/marine spatial planning program officer. Information is available at: http://www.oceancouncil.org/site/opportunities.php

The WOC project on ocean policy and planning in the U.S. is possible thanks to support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

About the Sustainable Ocean Summit 2013 (SOS 2013)

The SOS 2013 (22-24 April, 2013, Washington, D.C.) is the only international ocean business community gathering dedicated to industry leadership and collaboration in developing solutions to ocean sustainability challenges. The theme of SOS 2013 is “Oceans 2050 - The Ocean Business Community and Sustainable Seas”. This event brings together a wide range of ocean industries, including: shipping, oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, renewable energy (wind, wave, tidal), mining, ports, dredging, cables, pipelines, the maritime legal, financial and insurance communities, and others.

The World Ocean Council is grateful for the support of SOS 2013 Sponsors: BP International, Battelle Memorial Institute, TOTAL, Ocean Conservancy, Rockefeller & Co., Heidmar, Louisbourg Seafoods and SubCtech GmbH.

For SOS 2013 information, registration and sponsorship opportunties, click here.

About the World Ocean Council (WOC)

The WOC is the only international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”. Companies and associations worldwide are distinguishing themselves as leaders in ocean sustainability and stewardship by joining the WOC. Members to date include over 60 leadership organizations from a wide range of ocean industries: oil and gas, shipping, seafood, fisheries, aquaculture, mining, renewable energy, ocean technology, maritime law, marine environmental services and other areas. For the current list of WOC Members, click here.

Contact: Paul Holthus, Executive Director Phone: +1 (808) 277-9008
email: Email Contact Web: www.oceancouncil.org

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