Workshop 1

Marine ecosystem-based governance: From rhetoric to reality

The cumulative pressure of anthropogenic activities on marine systems is already strong, but it will further increase in the next decades, due in part to globalization and climate change. Recent data confirm that emissions of greenhouse gas are proceeding in line with the worst IPCC scenarios.

Coastal areas are increasingly urbanized, pollution and exploitation of marine resources are not relenting, and the increasing attention to “blue growth economy” adds new challenges to marine and coastal sustainability. Such situations make the demand for scientifically informed governance more stringent – to be able to deal with the multiple requests of society and a variety of co-occurring stressors, whilst maintaining the resilience of marine ecosystems. This requires not only evidence and perspective from social and natural sciences, but also effective mechanisms to enable data sharing, integration and synthesis of knowledge, and meaningful stakeholder engagement. While an ecosystem-based approach to marine governance is hardly a new concept, there is a shortage of examples to illustrate how it is done and whether it adds value to sustainability.

The main objective of the workshop is therefore, to help move the rhetoric of the marine ecosystem-based governance as close to reality as possible. It will do this through:

  1. Discussion and analysis of experience, best practices, failures and lessons from case studies, expert opinions, theoretical insights;
  2. Integration of perspectives of experts from a broad range of disciplines, including marine ecology and biogeochemistry, social science, economics, fisheries, oceanography, climate science, etc. in the operationalization of the ecosystem-based governance concept; and
  3. Preparation of a ‘white paper’ on the topic.

We invite natural and social scientists/researchers and practitioners interested in the following topics, as well as other relevant ones, to participate in an interactive and transdisciplinary workshop.

  • Conservation and sustainability – complementary or incompatible?
  • Science-based vs. societal needs-based governance;
  • Multiple stressors and governance in open sea vs. coastal area;
  • Marine ecosystem services and values of the sea;
  • From good science to effective governance;
  • Marine governance in developed vs. emerging countries;
  • Marine resources exploitation: short-term vs. long-term vision;
  • Measuring Ocean Health and Good Ecological State
  • Typology of marine systems and of governing structure

Workshop 1 Conveners 

  • Ratana Chuenpagdee (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)
  • Cosimo Solidoro (OGS and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy)
  • Alida Bundy (Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada)
  • Donata Melaku Canu (OGS - Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale, Italy)
  • Alice Newton (University of Algarve, Portugal, and FRAM Center, Norway)
  • Ian Perry (Pacific Biological Station, Canada)

Keynote speaker

  • Silvia Salas (CINVESTAVN, Mexico)