Strengthening cooperation for the sustainable and equitable management of marine resources

Access to marine resources is an issue that is subject to increasingly intense competition. Some of these resources, such as fish stocks, are threatened by severe overexploitation, while a large proportion of the population depends on it for food. Other resources, such as oil and gas, are a potential source of conflict between States intent on their monopolization. While certain other resources have more recently been discovered and are attracting growing interest, such as genetic resources and particular minerals, for example.

From a scientific point of view, there is only one ocean. National interests cannot therefore be considered in isolation. It is on this reasoning that the law of the sea has gradually been developed, from theorization of the principle of the freedom of the seas in the eighteenth century to the adoption in 2015 of a Sustainable Development Goal for Oceans. These developments have led to the creation of various institutions, which today serve as a framework for international cooperation. International coordination in these various fora is still emerging and must be reinforced, with two essential objectives:

  • to preserve the marine environment so as to not compromise its essential functions and to strive towards the sustainable management of resources;
  • to rectify inequalities arising from competition in access to resources to ensure more equitable management.

IDDRI seeks to meet this dual objective by intervening at three complementary levels:

  • international cooperation, both within each forum and to better link their actions;
  • management of economic sectors;
  • science-policy interface, which has a major influence upstream and downstream of the two above-mentioned levels.


Current projects