The Commonwealth Blue Charter

“ Shared ocean, shared values ”

The Commonwealth Blue Charter is an agreement by all 54 Commonwealth countries to actively co-operate to:

  • solve ocean-related problems
  • meet commitments for sustainable ocean development.

The underlying principles of the Blue Charter come from the Charter of the Commonwealth, which was signed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.

The Blue Charter helps Commonwealth countries work together on a fair, inclusive and sustainable approach to ocean protection and economic development.

The Commonwealth Blue Charter works through a set of Action Groups, each devoted to a particular ocean issue. Action Groups are driven by member countries, led by ‘Champion’ countries. So far 16 countries have stepped forward to be Champions on 10 topics:

  • Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance
  • Coral Reef Protection and Restoration
  • Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Ocean and Climate Change
  • Ocean Observation
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Sustainable Blue Economy
  • Sustainable Coastal Fisheries

Action Groups will unlock the power of 54 nations and guide the development of tools and training.

The Blue Charter empowers individual and collaborating member nations to provide the leadership within the Commonwealth to solve the challenges of greatest concern to them

Pen Hadow Arctic Ocean Explorer

Cooperation amongst Commonwealth countries, with initiatives like the Blue Charter, will ensure greater ocean governance on issues like marine pollution.

Grace Kaue Office of Ocean Affairs, Papua New Guinea

Collaboration between Commonwealth countries on ocean commitments can help ensure that best practices are shared and innovations will be implemented.

Taaniella Kula Tonga Ministry of Lands, Survey & Natural Resources

At DOSI, we believe there is no one nation to provide expertise in global issues affecting the ocean. In this way, we are happy to engage with the Blue Charter in bringing experts to wider ocean issues.

Maria Baker Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI)

Ocean-related commitments will take a long time to be implemented.
By working together, we can achieve better and quicker results.

David Natogga Ministry of Mines, Energy & Rural Electrification

The Commonwealth's cooperation can help move forward ocean-related issues as ideas can be shared and assistance provided between the 53 developed and developing countries.

Kerry-Ann Spaulding Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Jamaica

47 of 54

Commonwealth countries have marine coastlines


of national marine waters are in the Commonwealth


of the Earth’s surface is ocean


Commonwealth countries have coral reefs, accounting for 45% of the global whole


of Commonwealth countries are small island developing states – those most vulnerable to ocean change and climate change


sea surface temperature rise per decade between 1971 and 2010

2600 miles

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the world


increase in ocean surface water acidity compared to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution


of fish for human consumption is provided by aquaculture


of marine pollution is made up of different types of plastic

Map of Commonwealth Ocean

Provided for illustrative purposes only. Information drawn from Flanders Marine Institute (2019) Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase: Maritime Boundaries and Exclusive Economic Zones (200NM), version 11. Available online at

Download The Commonwealth Blue Charter

The Commonwealth Blue Charter – Shared Values, Shared Ocean. A Commonwealth commitment to work together to protect and manage our ocean.