Strengthening cooperation for the sustainable and equitable management of marine resources
About the programme
Access to marine resources 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 them for food. Other resources, such as oil and gas, are a potential source of conflict between States intent on their monopolisation. Yet more resources have only recently been discovered and are attracting growing interest, such as genetic resources and certain 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 theorisation of the principle of the freedom of the seas in the 18th century to the adoption in 2015 of a Sustainable Development Goal for the 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:
- protecting the marine environment to avoir compromiseing its essential functions and to strive towards the sustainable management of resources;
- redressing the inequalities arising from competition in access to resources to ensure more equitable management.
IDDRI seeks to meet this dual objective by operating at three complementary levels:
- international cooperation, both within each forum and to better articulate their actions;
- the management of economic sectors;
- the science-policy interface, which has a major influence upstream and downstream of the two above-mentioned levels.
Photo Ocean © Austin Neill