In the ocean, no boundaries exist. Fish, and migratory species but also pollution is not confined by administrative and national boundaries. Collective and collaborative actions are therefore needed between States, but also from actors in science, civil society, the private sector and international organisations.
Governance at the regional level allows customized management strategies geared towards the specific environmental and socioeconomic circumstances of each region. National actions can be coordinated at the regional level, assisting States in meeting global commitments and realising sustainable development. In addition, the regional level can be more flexible and can set more ambitious goals than the global level.
The Marine Regions Forum supports the transition towards integrated ocean governance by developing and implementing a new format for solution-oriented learning and exchange among different marine regions at the interface of science and marine policy.
The Marine Regions Forum is a unique dialogue platform that:
- engages a broad range of stakeholders groups from non-governmental organisations and industry (such as fisheries, environment, tourism, shipping, energy and oil), to scientists and decision-makers;
- focuses explicitly at the regional level and aims to strengthen regional ocean governance;
- facilitates the joint development of new scalable solutions to current ocean sustainability challenges;
- is a knowledge-driven conference developed by independent research institutes and think-tanks together with a broad network of experts and in dialogue with decision-makers and civil society; and
- provides a space outside of formal governance arrangements where stakeholders engage in discussion as individual experts and where different types of knowledge can be brought together on an equal footing.
A dedicated team composed of ocean governance experts based at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), and TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability is developing and hosting the Marine Regions Forum together with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the European Commission and renowned international experts, many of which are part of the Advisory Board and Steering Group of the Marine Regions Forum.
The Marine Regions Forum is organized within the framework of and as contribution to the Partnership for Regional Ocean Governance (PROG), a collaborative science-society-policy initiative that supports the development of integrated ocean governance approaches for marine regions.
The first Marine Regions Forum was held from 30 September to 2 October 2019 at the Vienna House Andel’s Hotel in Berlin, Germany.