Intro to the CoLAB

The Marine CoLABoration is a group of marine and related NGOs working together to put value at the heart of solutions for the ocean.

Our vision is of a healthy and less threatened ocean and an ocean friendly society that values the contribution our ocean makes to our continued wellbeing and acts to safeguard its value in all its rich diversity.

The ocean, atmosphere, and land are connected. Like the parts of the body, what happens in each part affects the others. The ocean used to be healthy it has worsened dramatically over time because of human activity. The actions we take today can revive the ocean’s health tomorrow and into the future. There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that the ocean can help stabilise the climate and build a secure future for everyone.

We believe that people are more likely to protect what they value. As such, our work focuses on promoting an understanding of the full range of the value of the ocean and takes an approach that communicates at a level of people’s own deeply held personal values. By creating this connection – between individuals’ values and the value of the ocean – we believe that people will be more likely to engage with the restoration and sustainable use of our ocean.

The Marine CoLAB made up of over 100 organisations, who collaborate on marine-related projects, which we call our ‘experiments’ in all sorts of ways. The steering group for the CoLAB consists of nine core organisations and is divided into three working groups: shifting the narrative, identifying and addressing strategic gaps, and capacity building and engagement.

All Marine CoLAB experiments across the three working groups are guided by four principles:

collaboration, experimentation, learning and communication.

We collaborate: We meet regularly as equal and active participants in an innovative, effective and supportive collaboration. We welcome ideas and expertise from others.

We experiment: We co-create projects, both within our organisations and in the world, that test our hypothesis and the Values Based Approach. We accept that not all the interventions we test will be successful.

We learn: We create action-learning cycles to actively reflect on our collaboration and on the small, light touch experiments and larger projects we initiate and run. We share and replicate good practice and adapt and amend plans when we need to. 

We communicate: We work together to communicate about how the ocean makes life both possible and worth living. We frame our communication to connect with people’s deeply held, personal and shared values to reconnect their wellbeing with the ocean.

The ocean makes life on earth possible. Treasure it.