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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
Business and finance need an integrated solution to the joint nature-climate crises impacting our oceans. Customers are asking for it, investors and stakeholders are demanding it, and many companies that embraced the climate challenge with ambitious carbon-negative plans are now developing nature-positive corporate strategies.
Building a nature-positive business requires a new kind of thinking. It’s a bold vision that replaces the idea of the managed decline of our natural world with one that taps into the potential of businesses to transform corporate stewardship with new modes of working to restore nature. A nature-positive approach provides a pathway for businesses to address continuously changing environmental and social challenges, first by eliminating practices that destroy marine environments and then by taking steps to mitigate the remaining effects of best-choice practices.
Ultimately this pathway toward improvement helps companies support restoring nature, which provides benefits to communities in places where they operate. For nature-positive business, indicators are targeted to reach net-positive impacts on biodiversity, people, and climate.
There are significant benefits to shifting operational practices and investing in sustainable business models, including cost savings and increases in operational efficiency; revenue streams from new business models and access to new markets, products, and services; and better stakeholder relationships and company image. In fact, the World Economic Forum identified business opportunities adding up to US$10.1 trillion per year by 2030 from engaging in nature-positive business models.
WWF’s US oceans markets and blue finance work combines nature-positive business with innovative blue financing to deliver scalable, durable global oceans solutions and supports our nature-positive seascape work. Our innovative blue financing work focuses on influencing and engaging financial markets using a strong case for action to shift capital away from harmful activities within key blue economy
sectors and toward sustainable pathways that strengthen environmental, social, and economic resilience. Nature-positive business supports the seafood, marine renewables, coastal development, and shipping sectors to better address their environmental and social footprint, bring forth green and blue infrastructure solutions, and establish long-term investments in the seascapes where they operate.
More than 3 billion people in the world rely on seafood as a significant source of animal protein. As one of the most highly traded global food commodities, fish fuel a US$406 billion industry that employs tens of millions of people and feeds billions more. As the global population grows, demand for fish will continue to rise, leaving more businesses, jobs, and livelihoods dependent on already strained stocks. And as aquaculture has grown to address this ever-rising demand, new problems have grown with it. The long-term outlook for the seafood sector tracks closely with the health of the marine environment. For businesses, one solution for promoting ocean health while ensuring long-term supply, profitability, and reputational safety is a well-developed and well-implemented sustainable seafood sourcing strategy.
While the sustainable seafood industry has seen success using certification and improvement models, a continued focus on individual fisheries, fleets, and farms has exposed shortcomings around needed systemic improvements across priority seascapes. A more holistic approach can help to scale certification efforts and generate better, lasting outcomes for people and nature.
Marine renewables are a rapidly growing sector. As a core part of the global energy transition, marine renewables will be key to meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets while contributing to future energy needs. The potential of the sector in meeting global energy demands includes six avenues: tidal, wave, wind, ocean salinity, thermal gradients, and floating solar. These technologies are at various stages of development and contribute to a diverse set of pressures on ocean health. As we enter this new era of green energy infrastructure, we must prioritize protecting and enhancing nature habitats as an integral part of our path to decarbonization.
Coastal development is a term used to describe human-caused changes to the coastal landscape and includes a wide array of activities related to coastal protection, commerce, transportation, communication, or recreation. Unfortunately, these developments often come at the cost of degradation or destruction of natural ecosystems and resulting loss of ecosystem services, which negatively impacts both the environment and the local populations. This provides an opportunity for businesses working toward a net positive impact on our coastal habitats. Collectively, industry can be an even greater force for ocean good by taking local, regional, and global podiums to champion the need for all sectors impacting shorelines to ensure nature-positive approaches are an integrated part of doing business.
The international shipping industry is responsible for the transport of around 90% of world trade. Shipping is vital to the global economy, and without it, international trade would not be possible and the import/export of food, among other critical commodities, would not occur. This industry, however necessary, is a major threat to our oceans, and embracing sustainable shipping solutions is more important than ever. Smart shipping can help prevent or reduce many impacts of shipping, including deadly marine mammal strikes, noise disturbance, and harmful spills, protecting marine resources that Indigenous peoples and local communities have stewarded for millennia. Efforts to mitigate these impacts can be accelerated by working with industry to scale standards through voluntary adoption, corporate leadership, and industry advocacy.
The oceans inspire and offer hope for nature and people worldwide, which means they are worth protecting, restoring, and nurturing. WWF believes that when the planet regains its natural strength and flourishes, people thrive, societies prosper, and the world is more peaceful.