The IMBER Open Science Conference (OSC) 2014 “Future Oceans – Research for marine sustainability: multiple stressors, drivers, challenges and solutions” includes a wide range of topics related to marine biogeochemistry and ecosystem research, from ocean acidification to management of fisheries, and the human dimensions of global marine change.

The Earth System Governance Project, in collaboration with the LOICZ Project, the Future Ocean Alliance and many others, is co-convening a special session and a workshop on Communities of practice for supporting long-term sustainability of the world’s oceans. The Call for Abstracts for the session and all other sessions at IMBER OSC 2014 is now open!  

Workshop and Session Abstract

Global ocean governance needs to address the sustainability challenges of the 21 century. This requires linking natural and social science knowledge with that of decision-makers and ocean users in business and civil society in order to deliver science and knowledge to the governance process for more timely and effective adaptive management. There is thus a large number of individual and organisational actors engaged in the fields of knowledge generation and governance and management relating to the global oceans. Members of the recently initiated “Future Ocean Alliance” understand effective ocean governance as requiring an operational global social network which effectively links ocean governance actors across sectors, issues, regions, disciplines and interest groups. Our session will also invite the presentation of case examples on how to generate connectivity in ocean governance at various levels of the Earth system from the regional to the global (eg Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project, Western Indian Ocean Sustainable Ecosystem Alliance; Caribbean LME project; LOICZ). The session will be accompanied by a world café type of participatory exercise in which all will be invited to engage in a digitally supported systematic mapping of ocean governance actors and their linkages. The developing global network will be made visually available during the course of the conference. A final discussion panel will examine first results at the end of the conference. This will set the scene for building a global alliance for ocean governance and also for producing a published analysis of the state of world ocean governance today.

Workshop details

Session details


Oran Young, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Luis Valdes, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture, Paris, France

Isabel Torres de Noronha, Luso-American Foundation, Lisboa, Portugal

David Vousden, Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems ProjectGrahamstown, South Africa

Robin Mahon, Centre For Resource Management and Environmental Studies, University of West Indies, St Michael, Barbados

Marion Glaser, Department Social Sciences, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine EcologyBremen, Germany

Suzanne Lawrence, Consultant, USA

Peter Fox, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroy, USA

Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger, Centre for Environmental Studies, University of CampinasSão Paulo, Brazil

Ruben ZondervanEarth System Governance Project, and Lund University, Lund, Sweden