S2S Platform

The Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management (S2S Platform) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that is working toward a world in which land, freshwater, coastal and marine resources are managed holistically, balancing benefits for the environment, communities and economy from source to sea. It does this through supporting the adoption and implementation of a source-to-sea approach to management at regional, national, and sub-national levels.

About S2S Platform

The Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management (S2S Platform) was launched in 2014 as a multi-stakeholder initiative to exchange and generate knowledge, and support joint action for improved management of land, water, coastal and marine linkages. The S2S Platform is open to all stakeholders that are committed to improving coherence and coordination in land, water and coastal management. Particular strengths of the S2S Platform include its ability to bridge the knowledge-policy-practice space by mobilizing and drawing upon a diverse set of partners engaged in research, policy making, funding and implementation of source-to-sea actions. It focuses on governance and management innovations to address the full range of source-to-sea issues.

The Platform aims to support coordinated and innovative approaches to governance and management from source-to-sea by engaging in three work areas:

  • Knowledge generation and sharing
  • Supporting policy making and program implementation
  • A growing and vibrant S2S Platform.

More specifically, the S2S Platform undertakes the following activities:

  • Knowledge generation and sharing the science and practice of source-to-sea interconnections at the global, regional and national levels.
  • Guidance for the application and operationalization of source-to-sea management, through tools and methods building upon the conceptual framework, is developed and made available for research and development projects.
  • Strengthening the policy dialogues between downstream and upstream actors in the source-to-sea continuum, primarily at global and regional levels.
  • Advising how the international community can apply source-to-sea management to identify sustainable investments.
  • Encouraging partners to identify opportunities for joint action “on the ground”, resulting in stronger outcomes than would have been the case without the Platform.
  • Providing technical expertise to support planning and decision making to pilot and scale up Source to Sea programmes.
  • Knowledge sharing to collect and showcase best practices and valuable experiences across regions for instance through hosting sessions at international forums.

Why source-to-sea?
The dynamic interface between land and oceans captures a key development and environmental challenge of our time. Unsustainable human activities are imposing a heavy burden on water related ecosystems. Approximately 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean from land-based sources every year. Nutrient loads from unmanaged agricultural runoff and inadequate wastewater treatment continue to cause eutrophication and spread of dead zones in our coastal and marine waters. Globally over 80% of all wastewater is discharged without treatment causing ecological damage, health risks and economic loss. Flows of some rivers are so highly diverted that little water actually reaches the sea, robbing coastal ecosystems of the water, sediment and nutrients they need. The degradation of freshwater and marine environments has a direct impact on crucial ecosystem services and thereby on livelihoods and food security, especially for the poorest people.

Source-to-sea management is supported by a global policy framework. The international community has recognized the need for integrated coastal and freshwater management in the Manila Declaration on Furthering the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) It was adopted by 65 countries in January 2012, which committed “to improve cooperation and coordination at all levels to deal with issues related to oceans, coasts, islands and their associated watersheds, by applying integrated management such as “ridge to reef” approaches, including by involving stakeholders and developing innovative solutions to improve or resolve identified problems”.
The importance of improving fresh- and marine water quality and reducing marine litter is also recognized by several goals in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, but not all source-to-sea linkages are captured by the SDGs.

The Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management will facilitate contact between decision-makers and experts to provide on-demand knowledge, support, advice and guidance to policy making and implementation on freshwater, land, coast and sea. By doing so, it will enhance the efforts of the international community to fulfill inter alia its commitments to the Manila Declaration and the implementation of the SDG agenda and its integrated and indivisible targets.


The S2S Platform brings together a wide range of institutions committed to strengthen coordination of the governance and management of resources in the source-to-sea continuum.

S2S Platform members and partners can access the Document Hub here. 

Steering committee

The Steering Committee oversees and guides the overall direction of the Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management in accordance with agreed the mission and objectives. The current steering committee was elected in September 2020 and serves during a term of three years.


  • Torkil Jønch Clausen, Chair
  • Delta Alliance (DA), Sharon Tatman​, Expert Advisor
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Sasha Koo-Oshima, Deputy Director, Land & Water Division
  • French Water Partnership (FWP), Jessica Orban, Programme Officer, freshwater biodiversity and nature-based solutions
  • Global Water Partnership (GWP), Yumiko Yasuda, Senior Network & Transboundary Water Cooperation Specialist
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Rebecca Welling, Natural Infrastructure Advisor​
  • International Water Resources Association (IWRA), Callum Clench​, Executive Director
  • Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Birgitta Liss Lymer, Director, Water Resources Department  ​
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Andrew Hudson​, Head, Water & Oceans Governance Programme
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Habib N. El-Habr, Coordinator, Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine
  • United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Abou Amani, Director a.i. of Division of Water Sciences


  • Secretariat of the Global Environment Facility (GEF),Christan Severin, Senior Environmental Specialist
  • Swedish Agency of Marine and Water Management, Jakob Granit, Director General


Source-To-Sea Newsletter

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Past issues | March 2021October 2020 | June 2020 | December 2019

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