THE INITIATIVE: MeerWissen Strong Partnerships for Marine Science that Matters

MeerWissen was initiated in 2018 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and seeks to provide policy-makers with the scientific information they need to take profound decisions for the effective management and conservation of Africa’s ocean and coasts. The Initiative follows a strong partnership and co-design approach to ensure that priorities are jointly set, results meet local needs and are usable by both partners and decisionmakers.

The project’s name “MeerWissen” is a pun that plays on the German words for ‘sea’ (“Meer”) and ‘more’ (“mehr”), which are homophones, as well the word for ‘knowledge’ (“Wissen”). The title perfectly captures the project’s aim: to know more about the ocean.

Video: the Meerwissen Initiative

“Global warming has caused our ocean to heat up to an alarming temperature. Fish species, mangroves and corals are in danger of being lost forever. Almost 500 million people, most of them in developing countries, are dependent on small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. The more we know about our ocean, the better we will be able to develop solutions to save marine landscapes, and learn how we can use marine resources sustainably. MeerWissen stands for strong partnerships between research institutions from the African continent and Germany, generating tangible knowledge for policymaking.”

Svenja Schulze
German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

Our Goal: Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

MeerWissen aims at improving the conditions for knowledge- and science-based policymaking for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in selected African countries by:

African-German Partnership Projects

We strengthen the capabilities of African partners in marine research and building knowledge through African-German partnership projects.

Dialogue and knowledge transfer

We stimulate the dialogue and the transfer of knowledge between marine researchers and policy-makers.

Digital solutions and innovations

We foster digital solutions, innovation and the use of new technologies in the field of marine research.

In order to ensure that MeerWissen projects effectively meet the specific needs of partner countries and are collaboratively developed and executed, a strong partnership and co-design approach is pursued.

Outreach & Network of the MeerWissen Initiative

As at February 2024 (1st and 2nd Call)

Icon Public Relations


Communication tools used to disseminate information about the initiative through events, publications, press and media relations, as well as digital and social media.

Icon Strategic Partnerships


Partnerships with research institutes, universities, political institutions, management authorities, international and regional organisations, and participation in expert forums.

Icon Community Building


Activities dedicated to building and maintaining relationships between MeerWissen community members through events, joint publications, and trainings.

Explore Our Latest Partnership Projects

Madagascar| Tanzania

PAMO Participatory modeling for Nature-based Solutions in the Western Indian Ocean region

Somwat: Seagrass Meadows
South Africa| Tanzania

SOMWAT Nature based Solutions for Mitigation of Watershed Pollution: Cross-habitat facilitation by coastal seagrass meadows

Project Orientate Tunisia

ORIENTATE-TN Oceanographic and Ecological data for Nature-based coastal protection in Tunisia

Project Mancoga
Atlantic Ocean| Ghana

MANCOGA Mangroves as Nature-based Solutions to Coastal Hazards