Paul Holthus

CEO and President, World Ocean Council

Paul Holthus is the founding President/CEO of the World Ocean Council (WOC), the global “Blue Economy” Business Organization. As the international business leadership alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”, the WOC brings together oil and gas, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore renewables and other ocean industries. This unprecedented ocean business community is creating private sector leadership in addressing shared ocean and Arctic sustainable development.

In 2012, Paul initiated the WOC multi-sectoral Arctic Business Leadership Council and first private sector “Business Dialogue” with the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group. The WOC Arctic program work with industry includes developing Sustainable Development Goals for responsible practices and scaling up Arctic data collection from industry vessels.

Paul’s experience ranges from working with the global industry associations and directors of UN agencies to fishers in small island villages. He has worked with companies, industry associations, UN agencies, international NGOs, foundations, governments and communities on coastal and marine sustainable development in over 30 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, North America, Central America and Africa.

He has held senior positions with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and international environmental organisations, including as Deputy Director for the IUCN Global Marine Programme. At The Nature Conservancy, he originated the “Coral Triangle” concept, a successful large seascape approach to international ocean conservation and development.

Paul is a frequent speaker at international ocean and industry conferences. He was one of 5 people invited to be a member of the UN Secretary General’s Expert Group on Oceans for the 2012 Rio+20 conference, was the first ocean in industry organization representative invited to address the UN General Assembly and is on the Advisory Committee of the Arctic Circle Assembly.

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