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Paul Holthus Founding President and CEO at World Ocean Council


Paul Holthus is the founding President/CEO of the World Ocean Council (WOC), the international business leadership alliance on corporate ocean responsibility. The WOC brings together oil and gas, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore renewables, seabed mining, and other ocean industries. The WOC is an unprecedented ocean business community that creates private sector leadership in addressing shared marine sustainability challenges.

Mr Holthus has worked in over 30 countries with companies, communities, industry associations, UN agencies, international non-governmental organisations and foundations. He has held senior positions with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and international environmental organisations, including serving as Deputy Director of the IUCN Global Marine Programme. Among other things, he originated the “Coral Triangle” concept, a successful large seascape approach to international sustainable ocean development.

Since 1998, Mr Holthus has worked primarily with the private sector to develop practical solutions to ocean sustainability and responsible use. He 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, and is on the Advisory Committee of The Economist World Ocean Summit.

He is a graduate of the University of California and University of Hawaii, was a Fulbright scholar in Australia and is an East-West Center alum.

Agenda Sessions