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Oceans governance is a key priority area for the Pacific region. SSGM in partnership with the School of Government, Development and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific held a workshop on ‘Oceans Governance: Shaping our Future’ in Suva, Fiji on 1 & 2 December.
The workshop was attended by leading thinkers and practitioners in the field drawn from across Oceania. Over 40 participants from Fiji, other Pacific Island countries, Australia and United States attended representing academic, national governments, regional agencies and non-governmental agencies.
The workshop was designed to advance thinking on the future of ocean governance. Topics covered included changing geopolitics, the role of tradition and culture, cross jurisdictional management regimes, and knowledge brokering. The aim of the two day workshop was to contribute to thinking on oceans governance priorities prior to the UN Oceans Summit scheduled to be held in New York in June 2017, and to support the work of the Pacific Ocean Alliance, and regional agencies.
Day one of the workshop began with a keynote address from Dr Transform Aqorau (former CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement). He eloquently outlined the evolving geopolitics and relationships shaping regional ocean governance and considered the adequacy of the current regional architecture to meet contemporary needs. The main address on day two was given by Dr Hugh Govan (independent ocean management consultant) and focussed on looking at the future challenges on oceans and how to move ahead with future collaborations.
Building on the momentum of the conference, USP and SSGM will jointly release a number of short briefs on key issues affecting ocean governance in early 2017, and continue to work collaboratively to advance thinking on this important area.