Solutions for sustaining the World’s Oceans


This challenge was introduced by Christine Bertram, Researcher, IfW Kiel Institute for the World Economy 


The ocean covers more than two-thirds of our planet’s surface. It is a vast ecosystem that regulates the global climate, provides humans with natural resources such as food, raw materials, and energy, and is essential for international trade as well as recreational and cultural activities. However, pressures resulting from overfishing, increasing resource extraction, various sources of pollution, and alterations to coastal zones and ecosystems constitute severe threats to ocean health and sustainability. In many cases, activities on land such as farming, construction, tourism, and waste discharge have negative impacts on coastal and marine environments with negative feedbacks on human well-being. Even though the knowledge and awareness of these threats and relationships are increasing, approaches to achieving a more sustainable utilisation of ocean resources and services are still rare. Sufficient governance mechanisms are often lacking or only partly or slowly implemented.


Significant questions that need to be addressed and could be part of your challenge are: How can we reduce the waste discharge into the ocean and/or how can we recover the waste that is already in the ocean? How can we develop sustainable and environmentally-friendly tourism concepts? How can economic growth strategies such as the EU’s Blue Growth initiative be designed and implemented sustainably? How can fish from aquaculture be farmed environmentally-friendly and sustainably?

Recommended literature


    Region North


    Academic Partner

    The Kiel Institute is an international center for research in global economic affairs, economic policy consulting, and economic education.

    The Institute engages especially in creating solutions to urgent problems in global economic affairs. On basis of its research, the Institute advises decision makers in policy, business, and society and informs the broader public about important developments in international economic policy.

    As a portal to research in global economic affairs, the Kiel Institute has established a network of International Research Fellows that supports the worldwide awareness of the Institute’s activities and gives additional research impulses in form of scientific advice, joint research, and teaching stays in Kiel. The Institute lays a special focus on economic education and closely cooperates with the world’s largest library in economic and social sciences.

    The Kiel Institute has been partner of the YES! since 2015.