United Nations
30 New Mission Blue Hope Spots by 2020
by Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. We hereby voluntarily commit to the creation of 30 new ocean Hope Spots by 2020 in support of United Nations SDG14. Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. With this commitment, Mission Blue promises to showcase to the world the passion, efforts and progress towards conservation of 30 new Hope Spots.

Dr. Sylvia Earle introduced the concept of Hope Spots in her 2009 TED talk and since then the idea has inspired millions across the planet. Mission Blues focus is on igniting public support for a global network of marine protected areas, Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of our planet. Working with IUCN, we have developed the only global online portal for the public to nominate and act on protecting their local marine treasures.

Hope Spots allow us to plan for the future and look beyond current marine protected areas (MPAs). These special places often need formal protection, but they can also be existing MPAs where more enforcement is needed. They can be large or small, but they all provide hope due to:

A special abundance or diversity of species, unusual or representative species, habitats or ecosystems
Particular populations of rare, threatened or endemic species
A site with potential to reverse damage from negative human impacts
The presence of natural processes such as major migration corridors or spawning grounds
Significant historical, cultural or spiritual values
Particular economic importance to the community

Mission Blues works with each Hope Spot group, encouraging regular submissions of compelling content rich in story, photo, video, virtual reality and spatial mapping. Sharing this content on Mission Blues social media and digital channels offers global exposure to Hope Spots large and small, empowering local communities to act.

To further support global action for protection, Mission Blue will launch a new Hope Spot Technology Platform later this year. By investing in a robust IT system for implementing, mapping, managing and communicating about Hope Spots, Mission Blue aims to accelerate ocean protection in the Hope Spot community. In partnership with ESRI and IUCN, Hope Spot partners and communities will be able to take full advantage of cutting-edge technologies for everything from sharing science, to storytelling to interactive mapping and data management.

To date, a total of 85 Hope Spots have been designated. In 2016, the Hope Spot Council named a total of 19 new Hope Spots. These Hope Spots include current and future Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) worldwide, and existing Hope Spots have been the catalyst for the decisions on many MPA designations. Awareness and engagement with the concept of Hope Spots is strengthening every month, and Mission Blue commits to the designation of 30 additional Hope Spots by January 1, 2020.

Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
January 2020
Designation of 30 new Hope Spots by 2020
Staff / Technical expertise
Hope Spot Council expertise, Mission Blue, IUCN and ESRI staff and consulting time
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 June - 2020 January
IUCN, MCI, ESRI, Mai Tai Global, Ocean Elders, Google
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Laura Cassiani , Executive Director , lcassiani@mission-blue.org , 7072257797
Napa, California, United States
Other SDGs
United Nations