Ocean Governance

Coastal habitat in Southern EnglandExploitation of seas and oceans must balance economic productivity and associated human uses with the protection of a range of different habitats and species. Sustainable development draws upon marine science to determine interactions, functions and services. Productive seas are in the interests of all concerned and will benefit future generations.

We have been involved at the strategic level of global ocean governance, working for UN Agencies, Regional Conventions, national governments and on key cross-cutting issues. Good governance and management of marine resources is based upon an informed and agreed vision that draws on a broad range of disciplines. Seascape currently coordinates the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI), working closely with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and leads the science-policy interface and stakeholder engagement work for the H2020 iAtlantic project. Completed projects include the H2020 ATLAS project (in which Seascape led the science-policy work), the FP7-funded MIDAS project (Managing Impacts of Deep Sea Resource Exploitation, 2013-2016), and in 2016 Seascape was commissioned to undertake the first periodic performance review of the International Seabed Authority, in line with Article 154 of UNCLOS. During 2018-2021, we led an EU-funded initiative to work with the International Seabed Authority to assist in developing a regional environmental management plan for sulphide mining in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Our expertise

Prof. David Johnson has worked at the cutting edge of ocean policy and facilitated the world’s first network of High Seas marine protected areas. He has an extensive professional network and personal connections in ocean and coastal governance. David is currently the GOBI Coordinator.

Some of the services we offer include:

  • Scoping and feasibility studies for integrated coastal zone management and national networks of marine protected areas;
  • Evaluation of research projects/proposals and regulatory measures such as Environmental Impact Assessments and Strategic Environmental Assessments;
  • Facilitation and mediation of workshops, meetings and focus groups with stakeholders and decision-makers;
  • Detailed justifications of marine governance tools such as marine spatial plans;
  • Policy briefs based on understanding and experience of new and emerging issues

Examples of previous projects:

  • European Commission: Areas of Particular Environmental Interest in the Atlantic
  • International Seabed Authority: Periodic Review under UNCLOS Article 154
  • International Seabed Authority: Assessment of Contractors’ activities
  • Kaliningrad, Russian Federation: Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Antalya, Turkey: Coastal zone management capacity building
  • Wadden Sea, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, PSSA Feasibility Study
  • WWF, UK: Marine Environmental High Risk Areas (shipping impact studies)
  • IUCN, Switzerland: High Seas Task Force
  • Azores, Portugal: Marine spatial planning/marine national parks
  • Praia, Cape Verde: Ecosystem approach assessment
  • UNEP-MAP, Greece: Special Protection Areas of Mediterranean Interest
  • ISA, Jamaica: Clarion Clipperton Zone Environmental Management Plan
  • Hawaii, United States : 5th International Marine Debris Conference (Honolulu Strategy)
  • BE-AWARE, North Sea States: Area-wide risk assessment for mineral oil and HNS