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

  • Mobilizing the international community to improve the regulation of offshore activities
  • Developing a strategic framework to prevent, reduce and combat pollution from offshore activities in Western Africa
  • Blue is the new REDD? Blue carbon and the synergies between climate action and coastal and marine conservation
  • Sustainability of the Indian Ocean tuna industry
  • Ocean governance for sustainability: challenges, options and the role of science

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Projets en cours

-       Mobiliser la communauté internationale pour faire progresser la régulation des activités offshore. Soutien à l’élaboration de la Composante Offshore de la Fondation MAVA

-       Blue carbon

-       Durabilité de la filière thonière de l’océan Indien

-       Ocean Governance for Sustainability - Challenges, Options and the Role of Science



"Blue Ocean", a video of the "Ocean Initiative 2015" coordinated by Jean-Pierre Gattuso, research fellow at UPMC/CNRS and associate researcher at IDDRI, and Alexandre Magnan, research fellow at IDDRI.