ANCORS Ocean Nexus - Equitable Outcomes from Transboundary Ocean Governance
Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus
In April 2020, the Nippon Foundation launched its new international research partnership dedicated to supporting the development, implementation and maintenance of sustainable and equitable ocean management and communities. The Ocean Nexus program, led by the University of Washington, will establish inter-disciplinary teams from international research institutions to collaborate on a ten year program of studies, courses and fellowships.
ANCORS is proud to be a member of this innovative and socially focused research program and grateful for the generous support from the Nippon Foundation. The ANCORS Ocean Nexus Program comprises an Ocean Nexus Chair, an Ocean Nexus post-doctoral research fellow, two Ocean Nexus PhD students, and a team of ANCORS research fellows.
ANCORS Ocean Nexus
The ANCORS Ocean Nexus research program sits at the interface between science, policy, law, and development studies. Our studies will directly address key challenges to achieving equitable outcomes in transboundary ocean conservation, governance and development. Our research will focus on two linked themes: Ocean Science, Technology, Knowledge and Capacity; and Collective Strategies and Decision Frameworks.
Despite widespread international commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), developing State communities continue to derive only minimal benefits from oceanic resources. Commercial interests from developed States dominate industrial fisheries beyond coastal waters, often operating at unsustainable levels and protected by international conservation and management processes that largely prioritise historical interests. Transboundary ocean conservation, management and development frameworks struggle to adopt measures that promote SDGs, support equitable outcomes for developing States, and ensure that decisions do not apply a disproportionate conservation burden on to developing States. This research theme offers a unifying focus for transformative research to address these challenges by analysing potential solutions and their likely equity impacts, and fostering collective strategies and participation, science-based approaches and stewardship. Our scope is global, but with particular focus on the Pacific Islands region.
Science, technology and knowledge are key enablers for decision-making and implementation in transboundary ocean governance. A range of human, technical and institutional capacities are needed for States to fulfil responsibilities and realise rights. However, such capacities are unevenly distributed worldwide, and not all have the capabilities to access and use knowledge and technology for conservation and sustainable development. Technology transfer and capacity-building are priority issues for the international ocean agenda, both within and beyond national jurisdiction.
Our research examines:
- the role of science, technology and knowledge in sustainable development and stewardship
- measures for capacity-building to enable the ecologically sustainable and equitable use of marine resources
- the translation of international commitments into equitable outcomes at regional, national and institutional levels, particularly in small-island developing States
- the intersection and partnership of science and traditional knowledge, recognising both as socially derived systems of knowledge that can advance custodianship and socio-ecological management of ocean resources
- the integration of ecological, social and cultural values into decision-making.
Our program will:
- develop new analysis, materials and curriculums to support the transition of ocean governance to a true ‘commons’ model, focused on food security, sustainable development and stewardship
- work with intergovernmental regional fisheries management organisations to move forward and develop decision frameworks that transparently identify fundamental equity considerations, and apply conservation and management measures that are consistent with the SDGs thereby modernising fisheries management and aligning it with broader international developments in common resource management.