TMG Think Tank for Sustainability

Advancing Ocean Governance in Marine Regions Through Stakeholder Dialogue Processes

TMG staff co-author an article on how collaborative efforts can help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for the world's oceans

May 04, 2021

Advancing Ocean Governance in Marine Regions Through Stakeholder Dialogue Processes

Sebastian Unger, TMG Senior Research Fellow, and Alexander Müller, Founder and Managing Director of TMG, have contributed to a peer-reviewed article on ocean governance along with the lead author Laura Weiand and co-authors Julien Rochette and Barbara Neumann. The article, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, reviews the challenges and opportunities of current collaborative efforts in ocean governance, namely multi-stakeholder dialogue and exchange processes, within and between marine regions to accelerate transformative action, contributing to global ocean-related goals such as SDG 14.

The paper builds on knowledge co-production and collaborative governance literature, and reviews experiences by stakeholders with ocean-related science-policy interfaces in an effort to strengthen regional ocean governance. Effective ocean governance is hampered by a range of barriers including fragmented governance frameworks, power and resource imbalances, and a lack of meaningful stakeholder engagement as well as underdeveloped cultures of collaboration and coordination.

The study identifies pathways to address these challenges, such as the cultivation of shared goals and visions among stakeholders and states; contextualisation to account for the social, economic, and ecological dimensions; inclusivity; trust building; and meaningful continuous interactions. As an exemplary case of such interfaces, the study assesses the Marine Regions Forum, a newly established inclusive dialogue and exchange platform for diverse actors from marine regions that aims to provide an informal space for joint learning and support regional action and international governance processes alike. The paper is Open Access and can be read for free here.

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