Living Future Strategies for Ocean Neutrality

The Geoversiv Commitment to Ocean Stewardship is intended as both an institutional action agenda and a process of exploration and discovery, generating roadmaps for others to follow. It operates through five areas of action:

  1. Information support
  2. Stakeholder participation
  3. Technical capacity
  4. Catalytic convening
  5. Institutional practice

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Full interactive UN commitment listing: oceanconference.un.org/commitments


1) Information Support

The Geoversiv Foundation commits to actively seek, collect, curate, and share information about the health of Earth’s oceans, specifically relating to the livability of ocean conditions for marine life and complex ocean ecosystems. We also commit to develop, where possible, new avenues of information gathering, sharing and analysis, to foster a global economic and policy environment more conducive to smart ocean stewardship.

2) Stakeholder Participation

The Geoversiv Foundation commits to build specific programming designed to ensure expanded opportunities for stakeholder engagement on issues of ocean health and resilience. Through support for programs like ACCESS to GOOD, the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network, the Climate Opportunity Report, and other citizen engagement and local observer-driven partnerships, we will actively connect coastal and ocean communities to policy discussions, opportunities for improved stewardship strategy, and technical solutions.

3) Technical Capacity

The Geoversiv Foundation operates according to the view that all people have the right to exist in a world where activities that cause harm are sidelined and better practices are brought to the fore. We commit to provide technical support for information-sharing activities, logistical support for thought leaders and stakeholders interested in shaping global policy discussion, and to look for new ways to achieve enhanced scientific observational capability, both for global institutions and for local communities and researchers.

4) Catalytic Convening

The Geoversiv Foundation seeks to improve the informational connections between thought-leaders, stakeholders, decision-makers, and practitioners and innovators. We commit to convening at least one in-person dialogue per year to focus on ocean health, with specific detailed focus on how oceans relate to other Sustainable Development Goals (such as livable cities, gender equality, just and transparent institutions, and the sustainability of life on land).

5) Institutional Practice

The Geoversiv Foundation commits to minimize our operational ocean impact, wherever possible, to zero. Wherever the technical means to achieve this are not yet readily available, we commit to work with collaborators who may develop enhanced technical capability to reduce operational ocean impact to zero. We aim to be fully internally ocean-neutral by 2020, and to establish knowledge-sharing collaborations that allow for all of our program partnerships to be fully ocean-neutral by 2025.


Exploration & Action: Deliverables

The Geoversiv view that Earth systems are integrated and enmeshed, and that ocean health relates to practices on land, requires that this commitment include considerations of how agricultural, industrial, and waste-management practices affect life below water, and also major climate-regulating fluid dynamics.

We will integrate into our technical work relating to climate dynamics, ocean acidification and thermal uptake, and long-term living future planning, not only the warm and temperate ocean regions, but also the polar regions.

Our effort to mobilize in the 5 action areas listed above leads to 4 time-based deliverables:

  1. Create a participatory ocean policy-making and resource-sharing community, within our ACCESS to GOOD platform.
  2. Establish science-based multidisciplinary definitions of Ocean Footprint, Ocean Neutrality, Ocean-specific and Non-Ocean Drivers of ocean resilience.
  3. Convene multilevel, multistakeholder ocean dialogues—at least one per year—to catalyze stronger ocean stewardship policies and initiatives.
  4. Establish internal operational ocean neutrality, as defined by deliverable #2, above.

In service of the work others might do to implement, or further explore, elements of this Commitment to Ocean Stewardship, Geoversiv will develop Living Future Strategies, of differing levels of complexity, to provide an actionable roadmap.

Key components of that roadmap, which require research, discovery, definition, and adaptive activation to circumstance, include:

  • Definition of Ocean Footprint
  • Definition of Ocean Neutrality
  • Ocean-specific drivers
  • Non-ocean drivers (emissions, soil carbon)
  • Pathways to Ocean Neutrality
  • Generative Ocean Investment Strategies

Timeline of Action

  • June – September 2017: Between the UN Ocean Conference and the UN General Assembly, the Geoversiv Foundation will lay out concrete institutional actions and new programming to serve each of the five component action areas of this commitment.
  • September 2017: Actions and programming toward Information Support and Stakeholder Participation will be announced and shared during the Climate Chance Summit of Non-State Climate Actors, in Agadir, Morocco.
  • November 2017: At the COP23 UN climate negotiations, the Geoversiv Foundation will join with partners in the ACCESS to GOOD platform — access2good.info — to offer partnership opportunities to other institutions to cooperate in the implementation of all five components of the Geoversiv Commitment to Ocean Stewardship.
  • In 2018, the Geoversiv Foundation will begin to outline Living Future Strategies to build operational ocean neutrality into institutional, commercial, and policy planning at all levels.
  • In 2018, as part of the development of the Peace Synapse global graph of climate, peace and security knowledge relationships, we will include ocean resilience and stewardship considerations in our analysis.
  • Each year, we will convene at least one multilevel multistakeholder dialogue on innovative approaches to ocean stewardship.
  • This commitment will be built into the operations and programming of the Geoversiv Foundation, and will continue to track progress on related Sustainable Development Goals without a predetermined end-date.

Written by Geoversiv Team

The Geoversiv Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Foundation exists to support, connect and empower innovative projects oriented toward achieving social good, through promotion of: climate solutions, clean energy innovation and deployment, responsible enterprise, education, peacebuilding, and expansion of the civic space.

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