We all need healthy coral reefs, productive fisheries and intact coastlines, but our growing demands on the ocean's resources are too much for the ocean to handle.
Building on more than a decade of experience working with businesses, governments and communities, the Center for Oceans connects local action and global impact through sound strategies, alliances, learning communities and proven tools.
Our long-term goal: to conserve marine biodiversity and ecosystems to safeguard ecological, social and economic benefits for people and nature — because people need healthy oceans to thrive.
Safeguard the Ocean Places Most Important for People
We work with governments, communities, civil society and businesses to manage large ocean areas in an integrated manner, balancing the ways that people interact with nature — from food production and resource extraction, to tourism and culture.
In 20 countries and hand-in-hand with communities and governments, we are advancing new models for place-based integrated ocean management, such as Seascapes and large-scale Marine Protected Areas.
Policy + Governance
We are developing and applying science-based tools, such as the Ocean Health Index, to embed conservation into public and private decisions at local, national, regional and international levels.
We are unlocking economic benefits for people by catalyzing sustainable ocean enterprises, leveraging the power of ocean industries to influence change, and accounting for the value of the ocean “capital.”
Secure Foods and Livelihoods
Our fisheries and aquaculture experts are protecting biodiversity and improving community well-being by implementing solutions built on partnerships and ocean-to-plate investments.
We are working in the world’s largest fishery, Pacific tuna, to eliminate illegal fishing, deliver increased returns to local communities, and ensure sustainability through better regulations.
We are transforming the development pathway for aquaculture, ensuring that this sector can grow sustainably.
Mitigate Carbon Emissions and Adapt to Climate Change Impacts
To maximize the dual benefits of coastal ecosystems for climate change mitigation and adaptation, we focus on integrated solutions that achieve multiple benefits, such as protecting coastlines from storms while safeguarding biodiversity.
We are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maximizing long-term carbon storage through protection, restoration and management of coastal habitats in countries with the biggest stores of blue carbon including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia, Liberia, and the Philippines.
We are providing functional examples of blue carbon-based finance, coastal management, and policy to unlock funding and finance through international and multilateral mechanisms for carbon financing, such as market offsets.
Senior Vice President, Center for Oceans
For over two decades, Aulani Wilhelm has worked to protect the ocean and the resources it provides. As the senior vice president of the Conservation International Center for Oceans she will build on her past successes, helping to lead the designation of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and founding the Big Ocean Network, to protect the marine resources that people rely on for food, livelihoods and culture.
Vice President, Marine, Asia-Pacific Field Division
Dr. Mark Erdmann’s work largely focuses on the management of marine protected areas, as well as research on reef fish and mantis shrimp biodiversity, satellite tracking of endangered sharks and rays, and genetic connectivity in MPA networks.
Vice President, Marine & Lead for Sustainable Landscapes and Seascapes, Field Delivery
Scott Henderson is a conservation and marine management practitioner with field experience as a researcher and consultant, primarily in Latin America. Scott founded the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape program and is responsible for developing multi-country marine strategies and building awareness of marine conservation issues.