Marine CoLABoration

Creating a more ocean friendly society through collaboration and a values-based approach

At the heart of Valuing the Ocean is the Marine CoLABoration (CoLAB) group, established in 2015 to explore how to communicate the value of the ocean more effectively. The idea was to provide time and resources for the marine conservation sector to build on what works, learn from other sectors and parts of the world, and develop tools and approaches with the potential to increase the scale and pace of beneficial change.

The Marine CoLAB brings together participants from organisations with a breadth of skills, experience, networks and spheres of interest to reflect on current practice, identify gaps, test new ideas, learn from and share the results. Some of the organisations focus specifically on marine conservation, others contribute expertise in communications, law, economics and systemic change. CoLAB members can also connect across different levels from the local to national and international policy, practice and campaigns.

Client Earth, Fauna and Flora International, Forum for the Future, Institute for European Environmental Policy, International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), Marine Conservation Society, New Economics Foundation, Thames Estuary Partnership, Zoological Society of London.

Marine CoLABoration partner logos



The Marine CoLAB’s vision is of a healthy and less threatened ocean and an ‘ocean friendly’ society, one that values the contribution the ocean makes to our continued wellbeing and acts to safeguard this value in all its rich diversity. The CoLAB shares a belief that we can accelerate progress towards an ocean friendly society by collaborating and by placing value at the heart of shaping solutions. It calls this way of working taking a values based approach (VBA).


‘Taking a values-based approach is very simple. Start with what really matters to people, with what they hold dear, what they treasure – use that as a jumping off point for celebration, for problem solving, for driving change, for learning, for finding common ground. Putting value first means shaping solutions that recognise the multitude of ways that the ocean is vital to us and seek to safeguard what we treasure while respecting what is valuable to others.’

Sue Ranger, Marine Conservation Society, ‘Our Ocean Has Value’


The Marine CoLAB has had an impact on the approach of member organisations to their own work, on the connections between member organisations and with the wider sector. CoLAB initiatives or ‘experiments’ are designed to address identified needs and gaps, testing a values based approach to change. These include the #OneLess bottle campaign, Agents of Change and Sound Waves. Some experiments mature to a ‘project stage’ with additional funding and increased capacity to deliver specific outcomes and impacts.

The Marine CoLAB strategy 2019-21 is three-pronged in approach, aiming to: shift the narrative around marine conservation; identify serious gaps and incubate work to address them; and build the capacity of the sector to take an experimental, values based and collaborative approach.

Visit the Marine CoLAB’s website here:

Updated on 23 november 2021