Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean ties together five continents, 50 countries and territories, and home to some of the most diverse and vibrant ecosystems in the world, it is degrading rapidly: a source of life becoming a threat to humanity’s survival. 

As a network of leading universities in the Asia Pacific, APRU coordinates the research and innovation capabilities of the nations bordering this great ocean. Universities play critical role in sustaining the Pacific Ocean and APRU seeks to drive efforts among its network of leading research universities to raise awareness, educating the public and grow relevant research infrastructure.

As part of its voluntary commitment for the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 APRU is driving cooperation between leading experts, future leaders, policy makers and local communities to address the health of the Pacific Ocean and its marine and coastal resources.


  1. Raising awareness and encouraging future leaders in the Asia-Pacific to engage with problems the Pacific Ocean faces through annual student-focused activities in collaboration with international partners. 
  2. Supporting capacity building across the Asia-Pacific by developing a network of research centers and experts across disciplines, facilitating best practice sharing and cross-disciplinary collaborations.
  3. Building an effective platform connecting latest research and experts across the Asia-Pacific with policy makers and international organizations actively facilitating policy development and implementation.

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APRU launches Pacific Ocean project as part of voluntary commitment to SDG14

In order to provide policy pathways to promote Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water: to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas, and marine resources, APRU has launched a cluster research project identifying social-ecological relationships to support the SDGs; outlining the institutional cooperation needed to enact appropriate policy, and evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of specific options to reduce risks of climate change impacts.  

Led by Gerald Singh (University of British Columbia), Yoshitaka Ota (University of Washington), and William Cheung (University of British Columbia), the project will evaluate the economic, social, governance, and environmental conditions that promote sustainable oceans throughout the Pacific Rim. It entails a survey, a literature review of institutes, and a workshop. 

APRU's Inaugural Pacific Ocean Cluster Project: Advancing SDG 14 for the sustainable future of the Pacific Ocean

Led by three marine science and policy experts from University of British Columbia and University of Washington, Yoshitaka Ota (UW), William Cheung (UBC) and Gerald Singh (UBC), the project focuses on enhancing sustainable development of coastal states, communities, and economies around the Pacific-Rim region. The overall aim will be to provide policy pathways to advance Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water.

The project includes one survey to collect elicit export knowledge, analysis of cooperation needs, and a workshop to share the outcomes.

Life Below Water

2017 Winter Forum APEC1Christopher Tremewan

EAIE 2017 Winter Forum: The Sustainable Development Goals

The Forum can be found at:

In the Winter Forum, Christopher Tremewan, APRU Secretary General writes about the important role of universities to address the most pressing needs of the Pacific Ocean. 

Read the article.

APRU Pacific Ocean Cluster Projects

cover nereus programTo protect the Pacific Ocean and its coastal and marine biodiversity APRU brings together Asia Pacific research experts and higher education institutions to work collaboratively with governments, industry and civil society to create a connected, multidisciplinary approach to support the implementation of SDG14.

The first collaborative cluster project starting in 2018 between the University of Washington and University of British Columbia will integrate expert opinions and knowledge to identify potential benefits from ocean governance and marine conservation, and propose policy pathways for the advancement of sustainable Pacific Ocean communities and economies by coastal states.

For info see the report – Oceans and Sustainable Development Goals: Co-Benefits, Climate Change and Social Equity ( )

Science Under the Sea

Ocean and Marine Science research are fundamental to understanding both how key challenges the Oceans face can be addressed. Elsevier, the global information analytics business examined levels of scholarly output, research impact, and trending topics in the global investigation into Ocean and Marine Sciences, with a specific focus on the profound and innovative work being done by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

Click here to see the flyer

The New York Times – APRU Asia Pacific Case Competition 2017

An international case competition reaching out to over two million students in the Asia-Pacific in partnership with The New York Times, to raise awareness on the impact of climate change on the Pacific Ocean.

Click here to find out more about the competition and the winning teams.