Ocean NGO Forum

China Ocean NGO Forum

Along with a fast growth of economy in China, the Chinese philanthropies have been significantly developed over the past years. However, within over 30 billion CNY per year of philanthropic investment, very little was spent on ocean. Meanwhile, it is heartbreaking to watch the coastal pollution and habitat loss being aggravated rapidly. This not only threatens the marine ecosystem, but also severely impedes the development of a harmony China and the world.

Chinese young NGOs have gradually turned their eyes to ocean. But most of them are struggling with the shortness in marine knowledge and organizational capacity. Most of staff currently working in ocean-related NGOs in China do not have any trainings or educational background in marine sciences. In addition, very little funding is available for ocean conservation in China.

To enhance the communication among ocean related NGOs in China, and to raise public attention on ocean sustainability issues, the first China Ocean NGO Forum (used known as China Ocean Philanthropy Forum, thereafter ‘the Forum’) was initiated by China Blue Sustainability Institute (shortened as ‘China Blue’) and Shanghai Rendu Ocean NGO Development Center (shortened as ‘Rendu’). The idea was proposed in August 2015, warmly received by many grassroot NGOs in Hainan. The Forum is the first platform in the country that connects NGOs with government, research institute and industry on ocean issues. We hope the Forum will enhance public awareness of ocean sustainability, and encourage multi-stakeholder collaboration to achieve sustainable development of ocean in China.

The First Forum was convened successfully on December 2 to 5, 2015, in Haikou, a beautiful tropical city on Hainan Island. Initiated and hosted by non-government organizations, it was the first nationwide forum focusing on ocean conservation and sustainability in China. The forum attracted 95 institutions and organizations across Great China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong), with over 150 participants.

With generous financial supports from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the China Environmental Protection Foundation, the forum made a great success in all aspects. The State Oceanic Administration, Hainan Provincial Department of Environmental and Ecological Protection, Department of Ocean and Fisheries and other authorities had kindly advised the organization committee in preparation. The forum was accomplished by a joint effort of research institutes, enterprises and organizations, with essential assistance from several Hainan-based local NGOs.

The forum agenda, with a diverse range of subjects and multi-sector interactions, was applauded by most of participants. Twenty-one presentations across four panels, along with five side-events (i.e. ocean photography and movie salon, beach cleanup, reception party, training workshop, and field trip) and nine roundtable discussions were well attended by over 150 people. To encourage grassroot NGOs’ participation, the Forum sponsored 25 representatives from 25 Chinese NGOs, which significantly increased grassroot NGOs’ exposure to professional network and encouraged their interaction and information exchange within the community.

For more information about the 1st Forum, please download the English Report of the 1st Forum here.

In 2016, the founding members or the Forum formed a steering committee to set up a special fund for China Ocean Philanthropy, with fiscal sponsorship from the Shanghai Gochange Foundation . The steering committee oversees the development of Forum. China Blue’s Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Han Han, serves the Vice Chairman of the committee. The steering committee has made a decision that the 2nd Forum will be held on Aug 24-27, 2017, in Shenzhen. The Dive for Love, a Shenzhen-based NGO advocating coral reef restoration will be the leading host for the 2nd Forum. It is expected that over 300 participants from NGOs, research institutes, government agencies, media, corporates, domestic and international foundations will join the Forum this summer in Shenzhen. The steering committee is raising fund to support the Forum’s plenary and calling for proposals of breakout sessions.

To find out details about the forum, please go to www.aihaiyang.org