Marine protection and ocean governance face complex challenges that call for renewed efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and coordinate programmes in this area. Like climate change, marine pollution and migratory species do not stay within the boundaries of territorial waters. In order to tackle these problems, we need to go beyond global agreements and advance coordinated regional solutions. Regional action programmes such as ecologically coherent networks of marine sanctuaries are more effective in conserving and protecting marine ecosystems than isolated measures. And in many cases, regional actors are in a better position than global institutions to rise to these challenges, which in many cases also present opportunities for sustainable development. Moreover, states are often prepared to go beyond the usual global obligations for 'their' regional seas - not least because regional cooperation often leads to greater efficiency, for example through the joint development and implementation of marine protection instruments. At the same time, institutional fragmentation in the system of ocean governance makes cooperation and coordination between states and organisations, and across sectors difficult.
A new format to support exchange between marine regions
The overarching goal of the project "Partnership for Regional Ocean Governance: International Forum to Strengthen Regional Ocean Governance" is to build a dialogue forum to develop effective cross-sectoral regional governance concepts for the protection and sustainable use of the ocean. The "PROG Marine Regions Forum" presents a new format for solution-oriented learning and exchange among different marine regions, which the project partners will develop, test, and establish as a participatory instrument at the interface of science and marine policy. The PROG Marine Regions Forum will also highlight examples of good practice in integrated marine governance at the regional level and develop new governance approaches to address critical challenges to ocean sustainability and strengthen regional cooperation. The first PROG Marine Regions Forum will be held as an international conference in 2019 in Berlin; and will be underpinned by a transdisciplinary research process. A team of ocean researchers from the IASS, IDDRI and TMG - Think Tank for Sustainability as well as renowned international experts will be involved in the conception, implementation and further consolidation of the PROG Marine Regions Forum as a cooperative instrument for international ocean governance. The project, which was launched in November 2017, is funded by the German Federal Environment Agency and implemented in close consultation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. At the UN Ocean Conference in New York in June 2017, former German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks presented the initiative as one of Germany's voluntary commitments to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 14. The implementation of the PROG Marine Regions Forum is also supported by the European Union, which, together with the German government, committed itself to the initiation and implementation of the forum at the Our Ocean Conference in Malta in autumn 2017.
High-Level International Workshop "Towards International Forum for Regional Ocean Governance", IASS, Potsdam, Germany, 8-9 October 2018 Marine Regions Forum presented at 2nd SOI Global Dialogue in Seoul, 10-13 April 2018
More information: https://www.prog-ocean.org/marine-regions-forum/