Capacity development is essential for achieving integrated management of the oceans, especially in developing countries, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and countries with economies in transition. Capacity building, in light of national ocean policy development and improved ocean governance, involves capacity development at three levels: Individual, institutional, and societal. Individually there is a need to develop ocean policy expertise through human resource development programs. Institutional capacity development involves providing support from internal and external sources to advance the design, implementation, and evaluation of ocean legislation, including the development of implementation strategies such as intergovernmental and cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms and conduct of targeted research and development projects. At the societal level, capacity building involves the development of public awareness and empowerment to be able to take part in decision-making in ocean governance.
Capacity development for ocean and coastal management has been an important priority focal area of the Global Ocean Forum since its formation. The GOF has undertaken a number of capacity-related activities, including carrying out 8 regional assessments of capacity building needs for ocean and coastal management in East Asia, Africa, Latin America, in 4 SIDS regions (Pacific, Caribbean, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean), and among the 8 Portuguese-speaking nations. The Global Ocean Forum, in collaboration with IOC-UNESCO, UNESCO Natural Sciences, World Ocean Network, Ocean Policy Research Foundation, Japan, will also be working with leaders from developing countries in devising and implementing a strategy for “Building Ocean Readiness: Capacity Development for Integrated Ocean Governance,” focused on developing the capacity of decisionmakers and managers to address challenges facing marine resources and coastal communities, and strengthening institutional structures for capacity development through sharing of best practices.
For more information on the Global Ocean Forum’s work on Capacity Development, please click here.