Written by Nereus Fellow Robert Blasiak,
What is the future of funding for sustainable fisheries and oceans? A group of researchers, policymakers and practitioners met at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University from 6-7 December 2018 to discuss exactly that. The workshop was co-organized by, and a key output of, an extended collaboration between researchers under the Nereus Program, Robert Blasiak (Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Colette Wabnitz (University of British Columbia), starting from a co-authored article on changing allocation patterns for official development assistance (ODA) focused on fisheries. This led to a forthcoming special issue in the journal Marine Policy – co-edited by both researchers – dedicated to the topic of ocean finance and attracting a range of submissions, including a contribution by Nereus Fellow Solène Guggisberg (Utrecht University) focused on “Funding coastal and marine fisheries projects under the climate change regime”.
The concept of the workshop was simple: bring together lead authors of submissions to the Marine Policy special issue with a group of policymakers and practitioners. This could serve to communicate the latest science to relevant stakeholders, determine whether the focus of researchers is aligning with the needs of policy and practice, and highlight where gaps remain. The two-day workshop resulted in tremendously rich and varied discussions, as well as an explicit recognition of the value in bringing together individuals spanning such a diversity of sectors and forms of engagement. A forthcoming scientific publication synthesizing key future priorities as well as gaps as identified by participants during the workshop, as well as the remainder of the contributions in the Marine Policy special issue will be available in early 2019. Two of the articles are already available for download, namely “Maximising the chances for positive impacts of fisheries and aquaculture Official Development Assistance” (Macfayden et al. in press) and “Funding coastal and marine fisheries projects under the climate change regime” (Guggisberg in press).