Henrik Österblom (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University) and Colette Wabnitz (UBC) are lead authors with many collaborators on “Towards Ocean Equity“, a new Blue Paper for the High Level Panel for the Sustainable Ocean Economy (HLP). It’s part of a series of 16 Blue Papers that were commissioned by the HLP to “explore pressing challenges at the nexus of the ocean and the economy”, and aim to summarize the latest science and innovative thinking for ocean solutions using the realms of technology, policy, governance and finance to achieve a more “sustainable and prosperous relationship with the ocean.” In their paper, the authors address three critical questions concerning equity in the context of the ocean:

  1. What types of inequity are prevalent in the use of marine resources? How can differences in fairness be explained?
  2. How are sustainable and fair use of marine resources interrelated? Why is it important to strive for both simultaneously?
  3. What can be done in terms of policy and practice to improve social equity in relation to people’s use of the ocean?

The authors find that ocean resources are currently being distributed inequitably, and argue that addressing this issue is critical for a sustainable ocean economy. They advocate for policies that addresses ocean equity issues in order to support a “sustainable and just ocean economy.” In order to do this, they suggest opportunities for action aimed at governments, researchers and their institutions, international organizations, funders, corporations, NGOs, and more. This paper was the focus of the webinar “Towards Ocean Equity”, and was the subject of a recent piece in Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions.

The above summary was adapted from the reference below

Österblom, H., C.C.C. Wabnitz, D. Tladi et al. 2020. Towards Ocean Equity. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available online at www.oceanpanel.org/how-distribute-benefits-ocean-equitably. link.

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