Ecosystem-Based Integrated Ocean Management: A Framework for Sustainable Ocean Economy Development

Foreword by GRID-Arendal In this era of the Anthropocene, the global ocean is under unprecedented stress. It is accumulating the waste products of a global throwaway consumer economy at a time that the unfolding climate emer- gency is driving ecosystem changes at a scale that is only just beginning to be understood. Meanwhile, direct demand for ocean space and resources is increasing as the drive for economic growth con- tinues unabated across the world. Ocean manag- ers (those who manage human activities at sea) are tasked with the development of a sustainable ocean economy that will provide people world- wide with a fair share of ocean resources while also returning the ocean ecosystem to a healthy and thriving condition, thus ensuring its stability for the long term. The task of ocean managers is, in essence, the col- lective challenge of humankind in the twenty-first century: creating an economy that meets human needs, justly and fairly, within planetary boundaries. A task of this scale requires a clear vision for a better future. Based on the idea by Kate Raworth (2017), this report calls for the sustainable ocean economy to be envisioned as a ‘blue doughnut’, the ecologi- cally safe and socially just space between an outer circle representing ecosystem boundaries and an inner circle representing the wellbeing benchmarks every human deserves to have met. The image of the blue doughnut aims to reframe the conversa- tion about the purpose of the blue economy of the future, shifting focus away from the pursuit of elusive ‘sustainable blue growth’ to goals that truly matter to humans and the planet we depend on. In addition to a clear vision for the future, ocean managers also need a management approach suited to the scale of the task they face. This report provides a structured and well-researched orien- tation around Ecosystem-Based Integrated Ocean Management, a well-established and tested multi- disciplinary approach with several decades’ worth of associated literature. The report not only covers concepts and theory, but also aims to provide a tangible sense of the huge range of relevant prac- tical tools available and the growing number of

empirical case studies that lessons can be drawn from.

This report is relevant for anyone with an interest in ocean management, but above all, it is aimed at those with professional roles in the field: research- ers, technical experts, managers, planners and decision makers within public sector bodies with an ocean or coastal management remit, as well as those working at non-governmental organiza- tions (NGOs), at academic institutions and in pri- vate industry, all of whom have vital roles to play in building ocean economies in which people and nature can thrive.

Peter Harris Managing Director, GRID-Arendal


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