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Governing the oceans

10. The future of ocean governance

Governance of sovereign and common pool resources

Summary

Ocean governance is complex and influenced by multiple drivers and actors with different worldviews and goals. While governance encompasses many elements, in this paper we focus on the processes that operate within and between states, civil society and local communities, and the market, including industry. Specifically, in this paper, we address the question of how to move towards more sustainable ocean governance aligning with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the UN Ocean Decade. We address three major risks to oceans that arise from governance-related issues: (1) the impacts of the overexploitation of marine resources; (2) inequitable distribution of access to and benefits from marine ecosystem services, and (3) inadequate or inappropriate adaptation to changing ocean conditions. The SDGs have been used as an underlying framework to develop these risks. We identify five drivers that may determine how ocean governance evolves, namely formal rules and institutions, evidence and knowledge-based decision-making, legitimacy of decision-making institutions, stakeholder engagement and participation, and empowering communities. These drivers were used to define two alternative futures by 2030: (a) ‘Business as Usual’—a continuation of current trajectories and (b) ‘More Sustainable Future’—optimistic, transformational, but technically achievable. We then identify what actions, as structured processes, can reduce the three major governance-related risks and lead to the More Sustainable Future. These actions relate to the process of co-creation and implementation of improved, comprehensive, and integrated management plans, enhancement of decision-making processes, and better anticipation and consideration of ambiguity and uncertainty.

Infographic

Lead Investigators

Bianca Haas

Mary Mackay

Mary Mackay

CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere / CMS

Anchor

Marcus Haward

Marcus Haward

Co-Authors

Meet our fellow team members who contribute to the success of this project.
Karen-Alexander

Karen Alexander

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / CMS

Joanna Vince

Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania
Carolina Garcia

Carolina Garcia

Jan McDonald

Phillipa McCormack

Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania / CMS

Yannick Rousseau

Camilla Novaglio

Camilla Novaglio

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / CMS
Fabio Boschetti

Fabio Boschetti

Jeff McGee

Lyn Goldsworthy

Lyn Goldsworthy

Carla Sbrocchi

Carla Sbrocchi

Maree Fudge

Maree Fudge

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / University of Tasmania / CMS

Chris Wilcox

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Leo Dutra

CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere / Centre for Marine Socioecology / School of Marine Studies, The University of the South Pacific

Liam Fullbrook

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania / CMS / PandIR UTAS
Erica Spain

Erica Spain

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / Antarctic Gateway Partnership

Michael Murunga

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / CMS

Ian Dutton

Rob Stephenson

Rob Stephenson

future seas

FUTURE SEAS is a unique collaboration , spear-headed by the Centre for Marine Socioecology, of over 100 researchers from the University of Tasmania (UTAS), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and other institutions
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