An effective and clear marine governance framework is needed to tackle existing and emerging ocean issues, such as ocean acidification and marine litter. Marine or ocean governance includes rules, institutions, processes, agreements, arrangements and activities carried out to manage the use of the ocean. There is a general consensus that the current international ocean governance framework, based on an overarching legal framework known as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is not effective enough to protect ocean resources in international waters. Problems are also aggravated by a general lack of knowledge about the global ocean system by the actors involved. Therefore, Ocean Literacy will play a key role in improving marine governance. Sea Change engages in a dialogue with policy actors, as well as with non-State stakeholders, on the role the ocean plays in a healthy planet and society. In addition, Sea Change aims to develop effective Ocean Literacy based tools and methods for establishing a science-society-policy interface in order to support informed policy-making and governance of the ocean.
Three main activities are planned:
Review of the international marine governance system actors and mechanisms
A review and analysis of the current international marine governance system, made up of international organisations, both state and non-state actors, and its science-policy interface was undertaken. Proposals for a contribution of Ocean Literacy concepts and approaches that can contribute to marine governance are included in this review as well.
Consultations with key actors of the marine governance system on the link between the ocean and human health
A consultation with policy-makers from different countries in Europe will gather information on their knowledge and perception of the link between ocean health and human health. This will help to gain an understanding of the factors that will lead to a change in the way science, society and policy work together to solve marine problems.
Enhancing the science-society-policy interface
Sea Change will develop a road-map for an effective science-society-policy interface, focusing in particular on harnessing the collective energies and capacities of stakeholders and creating meaningful opportunities for public participation. The challenge of Ocean Literacy in this context is to link science and the connection people have with nature as well as the indispensable role of governance in connecting worlds of thought and action for the purpose of promoting ocean sustainability. Developing and sustaining innovative approaches to ocean governance will require improvements in Ocean Literacy.