COVID-19 and the Future of Oceans Sustainability
While it causes much pain and suffering, COVID-19 also presents an unprecedented moment to bring together diverse stakeholders to rethink and move towards a more responsible, sustainable approach to the oceans. The COVID-19 and the Future of Oceans Sustainability process examines the complex, extensive, and uncertain implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on ocean sustainability through collaboration and systems perspective.
2015 – 2016 Sustainable Oceans Lab – global cohort 1
Between 2015 and 2016, the Sustainable Oceans Lab brought together stakeholders involved in oceans management from around the globe to address the question “how can we work together globally to enhance the sustainable management of our marine ecosystems?”
To address this question, the SOL gathered actors to work towards the following objectives:
- Develop their capacity to effectively lead complex change initiatives and bring diverse and divergent interests of the oceans system into dialogue.
- Critically examine and reflect on existing strategies and initiatives, seeking tobuild on and improve them.
- Develop new solutions to collaboratively address global oceans management.
The Western Indian Ocean, a natural resource shared by several countries, supports millions of livelihoods for people living in coastal zones. Rapid development, multiplying uses, and the impacts of climate change put this ecosystem at risk of degradation, threatening the livelihoods of those who depend on it.
In order to enable coordinated efforts to support the sustainable development and management of the Northern Mozambique Channel, a diverse group of stakeholders came together to create scenarios for possible futures for the region. The process has helped to advance coordination and decision making that takes into account the whole system in the region.
While the future of the Northern Mozambique Channel is far from secure, it is clear that a
vibrant future is possible.
Developing wind energy off the coast of the Dutch North Sea is one of the Netherlands’
core strategies for meeting its carbon emission reduction goals, and is planned for rapid upscaling in the next decades. At the same time, the North Sea is a vulnerable ecosystem and already has many other, potentially competing, uses which might be negatively impacted by offshore wind energy development.
This social lab brought together diverse stakeholders in the Dutch North Sea system to enable large-scale wind energy development to happen in a way that does not undermine other priority uses and functions.
Through the lab, key stakeholders learned that wind energy development can be undertaken in a way that yields benefits for all stakeholders, and that it will require ongoing coordination, dialogue, and innovation. Building on the trust, relationships, and understanding developed in the lab, the government, energy companies, and other stakeholders are now leading further processes to continue this exploration together.